Moscow believes it possible to settle situation in Georgia by joint efforts of "Caucasian Quartet"

Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister Valery Loschinin called for a peaceful settlement of the political crisis in Georgia on the basis of law and with the support of the "Caucasian Quartet." He spoke at a joint press conference with Aslan Abashidze, the leader of the Republic of Adzharia (Georgia), held today in Moscow. Mr. Abashidze conducted a round of talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday.

The high-ranking Russian diplomat called the Moscow visit of the Adzharian leader "a mission of great state responsibility for the destiny of the peoples of Caucasus." "His recent visits to Armenia and Azerbaijan, and the current visit to Moscow are not coincidental," Mr. Loschinin said. "We can consolidate our political efforts to calm down the "hot shots" in Georgia and find a legitimate peaceful solution for the present political crisis in Georgia, especially in the framework of the "Caucasian Quartet." Valery Loschinin added, "we can join our efforts to stop political extremists in Georgia." The Adzharian leader also stressed the necessity of a political settlement of the conflict between the authorities and opposition in Georgia, without use of forceful means.

At the same time, Mr. Abashidze did not exclude the possibility of the use of force on the part of Georgian authorities in case if the situation springs out of control. "If it does, the use of military force will be inevitable. The Georgian leadership must protect Georgian people, authority and the Constitution," the Adzharian leader stated.

Aslan Abashidze expressed the opinion that "the opposition campaign is bought out from inside and outside." "Individuals who went on the streets to protest the authorities had been specially trained and knew exactly when and how to do it. Until the plans of those who stand behind this campaign have changed, and while the financing of this campaign continues, we cannot rest peacefully," the Adzharian leader stressed.

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