Georgia Yields to Russian Pressure

Speaking on a government session today President Shevardnadze admitted presence of Chechen and Georgian terrorists in Abkhazia and Georgia proper and expressed readiness to cooperate with Russia by all means to combat this evil. Shevardnadze stated that Georgia’s Chief of Staff Pirtskhalaishvili is in Moscow to consult with Russian colleagues. He also stated that the consultations between the police agencies are to be launched soon.

President’s announcement came as a surprise, as Georgia was denying Russian allegations on presence of Chechen guerrillas on its territory in any significant number since the first Checehen campaign. Even yesterday, Georgian officials classified the information of the Russian news agencies on presence of Chechen guerrillas in Abkhazia as a provocation and an attempt to justify Russia’s military involvement in Georgia under anti-terrorist banner.

Today’s government session was delayed for an hour during which Presient Shevardnadze reportedly held a telephone conversation with President Putin. Most experts agree that President Shevardnadzae yielded to Russia’s mounting pressure, as western powers dissuaded Georgian leadership from making rash statements on Russia using the worldwide anti-terrorist campaign for its own geopolitical interests.

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