Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze, who has been appealing for such a long period already, has passed a verdict about Russian servicemen in the area of Georgian-Abkhazian conflict. Recently, in the article under the title &to=http://english.pravda.ru/main/2002/01/16/25739.html' target=_blank>“Eduard Shevardnadze – a wolf in sheep’s clothing” PRAVDA.Ru published about insignificant concessions that Shevardnadze planned to make regarding the Russian peacekeepers in Abkhazia. It was said that the president of Georgia will strive for the soonest possible cancellation of the visa regime introduced between Russia and Georgia.
Today, the UN Secretariat has concluded that there is no alternative to Russia’s peacekeepers who stay in the area of Georgian-Abkhazian conflict. A competent diplomatic source in Moscow informed RIA Novosti about it with a reference to the UN staff. The matter is that the Russian servicemen are the only peacekeeping forces in the area. It was mentioned that the UN Secretariat thinks that the withdrawal of Russia’s peacekeepers from the area will lead to an instant recommencement of the hostilities between the two parties and result in numerous victims. A humanitarian catastrophe may break out in the region then.
The UN Secretariat creates no illusions about Shevardnadze’s recent statements on a quick settlement of the conflict. That is why the Secretariat plans to organize an urgent evacuation of the UN mission’s personnel in case of withdrawal of the Russian peacekeepers from the conflict area, the source informs.
After the Sept.11 events, the Russian leadership has been standing up for the United Nations with the USA. The situation in Yugoslavia demonstrated that the USA did not treat the UN excessively concessively and even threatened with it with the suspension of financing to the organization. So, we may say thatit is mostly Russia’s contribution that the post-conflict settlement in Afghanistan is going on under the UN aegis. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan will hardly forget the fact.
But we wonder what Shevardnadze will do next.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/01/22/35868.html