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Georgia Most Likely to Prolong CIS Peacekeepers Mandate

(Tbilisi. January 9. Civil Georgia) – Georgian President Shevardnadze will take decision on Russian peacekeeping forces, deployed in the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict zone under the auspices of Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), in nearest days.

Georgian National Security Council member Jemal Gakhokidze (former State Security Minister) believes that the Russian peacekeepers withdrawal from the conflict zone will cause further tensions in the region.

CIS peacekeepers mandate expired on December 31 2001. Russian peacekeeping forces lack legal status for carrying out their duties at the moment.  

CIS executive director Yuri Yarov stated on January 4 after the meeting with President Shevardnadze that Georgia would take decision within the week.

Unrecognized Abkhazian government addressed Georgian authorities that the Russian peacekeepers withdrawal will inevitably cause escalation of new conflict in Abkhazia. 

Despite the Parliament’s resolution, demanding peacekeepers’ withdrawal, President Shevardnadze stated on November 30, after the meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that he is not for hastening Russian peacekeepers’ withdrawal any more, although Eduard Shevardnadze supported the Parliamentary resolution before.

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