The head of the Adjar Autonomous Republic of Georgia, Aslan Abashidze, for the first time confirmed on Monday that President of Georgia Eduard Shevardnadze offered him to occupy the post of the Prime Minister of the country and even discussed this question with the leaders of a number of the closest neighbour countries. However, the head of Adjaria did not specify the countries he meant. The aim of these consultations, according to him, was to find out the position of these countries with regard to his possible appointment to the post of the Prime Minister of Georgia. "If a politician, unacceptable for the neighbour countries, comes to power, he is certainly doomed to failure," pointed out the head of Adjaria. Aslan Abashidze said that in the 1990s he did not agree to occupy the post of the Prime Minister. But he did not clearly say that he agreed to hold it now, though he noted that "we should not seek those facts in the past that can be used for compromising politicians or movements because this may turn the country back."
An explosion of household gas occurred in a nine-storeyed apartment building in the city of Shakhty, the Rostov region of Russia. The blast destroyed two storeys of the building