Moscow points to US role in Georgia events

The events in Georgia which resulted in President Shevardnadze's resignation had developed according to a pre-planned scenario worked out with US support, believes Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov.

"I think there are enough facts proving that the events were not of a spontaneous nature. Due preparations had certainly been made and, as Shevardnadze openly acknowledges now, the US Ambassador to Georgia took an active part in those. The preparatory work was done primarily through the facilities of the Soros Foundation," Igor Ivanov pointed out in his interview to the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.

"You may have noticed that US emissaries known as Shevardnadze's personal friends kept coming to Tbilisi on a regular basis in recent months. Primarily, the former Secretary of State James Baker and the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Shalikashvili. I have no information or documents on the main purpose of their missions, but today it becomes increasingly evident that one their aims was to convince Shevardnadze of the necessity to step down," Igor Ivanov pointed out.

According to him, the events in Georgia were not a "velvet revolution", but a forceful removal of a legitimately elected President from power.

Shevardnadze resigned under a very strong pressure both from political forces and the masses aptly mobilized by the latter. To do that on a spontaneous impulse is extremely difficult. Hence, elaborate preparations had been made for the move," the Russian Foreign Minister emphasized.

Commenting on a possibility of a similar scenario in other CIS countries, Ivanov pointed out that "this would not be in the interests of CIS countries as it would run counter to regional and international security." In Igor Ivanov's opinion, "there are no reasons at the moment to say that Georgia may become an apple of discord between Russia and the United States. It appears to me that quite the opposite is true: we must take joint efforts to help Georgia overcome the current crisis. Should this crisis be left unattended, or, worse, be allowed to deteriorate yet further, the resulting destabilization of Georgia may translate into destabilization of the entire Caucasus, and, in that case, there will be no winners. Everyone will stand to lose."

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