Dmitry Litvinovich: new political crisis in Georgia?

The relations between Georgia and Russia have been recently experienced rises and falls. The media noticed that the positions of the two countries are growing closer to each other on the key issues of bilateral relations, particularly regarding the Russian peacemakers in the unrecognized republic of Abkhazia and the situation in the Pankissky Gorge in Georgia.

Russia’s Security Council secretary, Vladimir Rushailo, is currently visiting the republic of Georgia. The two key issues mentioned above are directly connected with Russia. As it is expected, there will be joint documents signed on those subjects, taking into consideration the fact there is a certain progress in that respect.

Georgia's President Eduard Shevardnadze has officially acknowledged that the withdrawal of the Russian peacemaking force from Abkhazia may destabilize the situation in the region. The leader of the republic even said that Russia was his best friend and best neighbor. However, the situation within the republic itself is getting tense.

The inhabitants of the Georgian settlements that are adjacent to the Pankisky gorge, where there are a lot of Chechens, have completely run out of faith in the ability of the Georgian government to do something real and have decided to take matters into their own hands. The level of distrust to the government is enormous, and the people are sure that the government cannot and even does not want to establish law and order in the Pankissky Gorge, since there are a lot of top defense officials who cooperate with the local drug mafia.

Most likely, the following is the true situation. Moscow has repeatedly demanded that Georgian authorities establish law and order in the gorge, which became a transfer point for Chechen militants leaving Russia, or penetrating it. However, Russia received only insulting or reproaching statements in return. Georgian President Shevardnadze even declared that the well-known guerrilla Ruslan Gelayev was a good guy.

The local people made up their minds to arrange self-defense squads to guard the exits and entrances from the gorge. There were a lot of meetings taking place all over Georgia. The people claimed the Chechens should get out of the republic, and if the government, was not going to do anything, then they would force the Chechens to leave by themselves.

There are also actions of protest taking place in another part of the country. The people want the Russian peacemaking troops to leave the territory of the unrecognized republic of Abkhazia. Shevardnadze can not simply ignore these protests, and he will not be able to meet the people’s requirements either. Maybe the republic of Georgia is on the edge of the new political crisis?

Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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