The latest obstacle to relations between Tbilisi and Batumi has become Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili's idea to abolish the Ministry of State Security of Adjaria. As reported by a Rosbalt correspondent, the head of the autonomous republic, Aslan Abashidze, has let it be known that he has no intention of abolishing the ministry. On Sunday, Mikhail Saakashvili told journalists that, 'If the ministry in Adjaria is not abolished, severe repressive measures will be taken. In Georgia there is one president, and that is me, and they (the Adjari administration) will have to carry out my orders.'
It should be recalled that the initiative of the central government of Georgia has elicited the indignation of the autonomous republic's head, Aslan Abashidze. In a night-time broadcast by the television company Adjaria, he said that the central government was playing 'dangerous games,' and that 'someone very much wants to ignite a civil war in Georgia.' He emphasized that he does not support the initiative of the central government. 'To wish it does not mean to be able to do it,' he said, and further explained that the establishment or abolition of one or another ministry, in accordance with the constitution of Adjaria, remains the prerogative of the autonomous republic's parliament.