The Federation Council's Committee for security and defence is concerned about the uncertain status of Russian peace-makers in the area of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict, chairman of the committee Viktor Ozerov told journalists on Friday. On December 31 the peace-makers' mandate on their mission lost validity. The address of Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze to the CIS presidents is needed in order to prolong the mandate but he has not issued such a statement yet, the deputy said. Commenting upon the statements of Georgian politicians on the necessity to replace the Russian peace-makers by NATO servicemen, he expressed his doubt "in their effective capability to restrain contradictions" between Tbilisi and Sukhumi. The Russian peace-makers have been stationed in the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict area since June 1994.
"Russia and Turkey - From Cooperation to the Union. Why not? " - new article written by a well-known entrepreneur, politician (formerly a member of the Federation Council from Krasnodar and a PACE member), public figure Farhad Akhmedov - was published this week in several leading Russian media, and it claims to be a sensation which highlights various essential issues.