The anniversary CIS summit has been finished. In contrast to previous actions of such scale, this was not very pompous: meetings among the leaders, the exchange of positions, and economical and political agreements. On the whole, everything was as it should be. However, only one meeting drew the attention of journalists. That was the meeting between the presidents of Russia and Georgia that took place on Friday. Even a scandal was be expected, though there was no scandal.
Eduard Shevardnadze was expected to discuss the question of the Russian aircraft’s bombardments of Georgia settlements. The question was about incidents in Pankisi and in Kodor gorges, where, according to official statements of the Georgian side, the Russian Air Force delivered some strikes on November 28. The Russian side flatly denied this, stressing that its aircraft did not carry out any flights in this region.
Vladimir Putin seriously prepared for the meeting with the Georgian leader. As a counter argument to Georgian side’s accusation, Vladimir Putin was intending to raise the question of the location of Chechen militants on Georgian territory. According to Putin, not only the militants themselves are located on this territory but their bases, ammunition depots, and drug-producing centers as well. The drugs are being sold to our nation, the Russian president said. Vladimir Putin also supposes retransmitting towers are situated on Georgian territory, through which Chechen militants contact with their Afghan and the Gulf region’s sponsors.
From the very beginning of the meeting, Vladimir Putin took the initiative, and the negotiations were carried out according to his scenario, but not as Shevardnadze had planned it. Vladimir Putin supported at once the Georgian leader’s proposal about the creation of a bilateral commission. The commission will investigate the incident in Pankisi gorge regardubg the connection with the Russian aviation’s bombardment. At the same time, he expressed doubt that the bombardments really have taken place. “If the question is about the bombardments of peaceful settlements, while there are no victims, what the bombardments have there been?” – Putin asked. “Either the strikes were not delivered at all, or they were delivered not delievered on peaceful settlements,” – the Russian president continued. To make the pill not so bitter, the president decided to sweeten it a little, declaring Georgia could count on the Russian leadership’s support in overcoming economical troubles. Therfore, we have the well-known stick and carrot policy.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2001/12/03/34444.html