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Chronology for Adzhars in Georgia

Publisher Minorities at Risk Project
Publication Date 2004
Cite as Minorities at Risk Project, Chronology for Adzhars in Georgia, 2004, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/469f388c1c.html [accessed 25 December 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
Date(s) Item
901 - 1000 The region of Adzharia is incorporated into the Georgian kingdom.
1001 - 1100 Seljuk invaders overrun the Adzhar region.
1201 - 1300 Mongol invaders overrun the Adzhar region.
1301 - 1400 Timurid invaders overrun the Adzhar region.
1401 - 1500 The Adzhar region falls under Ottoman domination.
1561 - 1700 The Adzhar are converted to the Sunni Muslim faith by the Ottomans.
1878 After the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, the Congress of Berlin awards the Adzhar region to Russia.
1917 Overthrow of the Tsarist regime and later the Provisional Government. The Bolsheviks emerge as the de facto rulers of Russia, controlling Moscow, Petrograd (St. Petersburg), and other major urban centers. A government dominated by Social Democrats takes power in Georgia. A Transcaucasian Federation is established under Soviet auspices incorporating Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.
1918 The Transcaucasian Federation splinters as Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia (May) all declare independence.
1918 - 1920 The Bolsheviks impose a naval blockade on independent Georgia and deploy military units to threaten the pro-independence government in Tbilisi.
Feb 1921 Bolshevik forces occupy Georgia, bringing the country back under domination by Moscow.
1922 Soviet authorities establish the Adzhar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic within the territory of the Georgian Republic.
1924 The relatively tolerant economic and cultural policies of the Soviet Georgian government come to an end with the attempted insurrection of the "Underground Independence Committee." Amid continuing resistance, Georgian churches and mosques are suppressed and forced agricultural collectivization is imposed.
1926 - 1929 The suppression of Islam and compulsory collectivization leads to a rebellion by Adzhars against Communist authorities. Following suppression of the revolt, many Adzhars are deported to Central Asia.
1930 In a further punitive measure following the Adzhar rebellion, Soviet ethnologists classify Adzhars as Georgians, a practice which continues throughout the Soviet era.
1953 The death of Stalin and the purge and execution of Beria leads to relative liberalization of Soviet society, including tentative redress of minority group grievances.
1956 Khrushchev initiates his anti-Stalinism campaign, one aspect of which is the rehabilitation of the ethnic minorities forcibly resettled by Soviet authorities during the 1930s through the early 1950s.
1971 - 1980 Evidence indicates that elements of the Communist Party of Georgia pursued a long-term strategy of completely assimilating the Adzhar to Georgian culture.
1985 Mikhail Gorbachev takes power in Moscow. Gorbachev's broad reform initiatives known as perestroika (economic restructuring) and glasnost (greater cultural openness) lead most ethnic groups to demand more cultural and political autonomy.
1988 - 1989 Abkhazia, Adzharia, and Ossetia lobby Moscow for removal from Georgian jurisdiction.
1989 At some point during the year, an organization is formed by Adzhar activists intent on protecting the status of Adzharia (its membership is reported to be quite small).
Aug 1989 Georgia publishes measures designed to increase the use of the Georgian language in all spheres of life. Many of Georgia's national minorities consider this an act of repression.
Nov 20, 1989 The Georgian Supreme Soviet declares that its incorporation into the Soviet Union in 1921 was the result of military force and not was therefore involuntary and illegitimate. The Supreme Soviet also claims that it enjoys the right to secede from the USSR and to nullify laws and decrees emanating from the central government in Moscow.
Jan 1994 ADZHAR leader Abashidze visits Turkey with Shevardnadze in search of economic agreements.
Jan 2, 1994 ADZHAR leader Abashidze declares his support for closer Georgian-Russian relations and Shevardnadze's efforts to bring them about.
Mar 2, 1994 Russia and Georgia sign a military cooperation agreement. The leadership of SOUTH OSSETIA and ABKHAZIA meets in a joint press conference to decry the treaty as provocative of further ethnic conflict.
May 3, 1994 The Georgian constitutional commission issues a draft program for the country's political and territorial structure. The draft calls for the granting of special political status to ABKHAZIA and ADZHARIA. SOUTH OSSETIA is not offered a similar status, although Georgian officials indicate that the issue is subject to negotiation.
Jul 22, 1994 Reports circulate in Georgia that armed supporters of former Georgian President Gamsakhurdia have infiltrated into ADZHARIA. In order to reassure ADZHAR authorities, Shevardnadze issues orders that Georgian security officials take measures to prevent any destabilizing conditions in Adzharia.
Sep 19, 1994 Aslan Abashidze, leader of ADZHARIA, denies allegations that his administration favors independence from Georgia.
Oct 1, 1994 ADZHARIA'S leader Abashidze decries the possibility that Shevardnadze may resign, stating that such a move could lead to civil war in Georgia.
Oct 4, 1994 Azerbaijan's deputy premier visits ADZHARIA to promote trade links.
Oct 12, 1994 ADZHAR'S leader Abashidze accuses Georgian authorities of denying Adzhar officials the right to broadcast on Georgian radio and television to explain the situation in his region. Abashidze states that such national access is necessary to counter rumors that Adzharia is drifting towards separatism. Rather than an anti-Adzhar measure, this lack of access to media is probably due to the destruction by fire of Tbilisi radio and television facilities.
Nov 30, 1994 Shevardnadze declares ADZHARIA a free economic zone.
Dec 21, 1994 ADZHARIA introduces stricter bread rationing due to a shortage of flour.
Mar 1, 1995 The leadership of ADZHARIA urges its population to support the government in Tbilisi as it implements a reform program.
Mar 6, 1995 Shevardnadze denies charges by ADZHARIA'S Abashidze that Georgian security forces are plotting his (Abashidze's) assassination.
Aug 25, 1995 ADZHAR leader Abashidze says that despite his widespread popularity in Georgia, he will not run for the Georgian presidency in upcoming elections. He also denies any desire to see Adzharia independent.
Sep 18, 1995 Shevardnadze visits ADZHARIA for discussions with government leaders.
Nov 5, 1995 Shevardnadze wins 74 percent of the popular vote in his reelection bid for the Georgian presidency. In the first round of parliamentary polling, Shevardnadze's Citizens' Union wins 91 of 225 seats.
Nov 19, 1995 Independent election monitors charge gross voting violations occurred in balloting in ADZHARIA. Allegedly, Adzhar leader Abashidze's Union of Georgia's Revival, which officially backed Shevardnadze, used violence and other forms of intimidation to harass opposition forces.
Nov 20, 1995 Shevardnadze praises the state of Russo-Georgian relations. Georgian radio reports that delegations of policemen, students, and teachers will receive training in Turkey.
Nov 21, 1995 The European Union promises Georgia 2,640,000 dollars in economic aid.
Mar 13, 1996 During his tour through the Transcaucasian republics, Andrei Nikolayev, head of the Federal Border Service, discussed the prospects for creating a unified CIS security system in the Caucasus (The Current Digest of the Post-Soviet Press)
Sep 22, 1996 The election bloc All-Georgian Revival Union- Union of Georgian citizens, uniting supporters of Abashidze, and the Union of Georgian citizens, the ruling party in Georgia, won a landslide victory in parliamentary elections on Sunday. The bloc won over 83 percent of votes. Opposition declared that there were numerous violations during voting (ITAR-TASS)
Dec 18, 1996 The Press Center of the Supreme Soviet of Adzharia refuted reports of some foreign mass media organs of martial law allegedly imposed on Batumi. According to the Press Center, several armored vehicles were moved to Batumi for an exercise. (ITAR-TASS)
Dec 22, 1996 Shevardnadze and members of his government arrived in Batumi to discuss differences between the center and Adzharia. Adzharia had been pressing for the status of a free economic zone. Another problem was connected with the appearance of heavy military equipment on the streets of Batumi. (The Current Digest of the Post-Soviet Press)
Jan 31, 1997 The Turkish delegation met with Abashidze in Batumi (TASS)
Feb 19, 1997 The presidium of Adzharia dismissed the entire 300-strong personnel of the regional customs department citing their unsatisfactory performance (TASS).
Oct 25, 1997 Tamaz Harazi, former Mayor of Batumi, accused the Speaker of the Georgian Parliament, Zurab Zhvania, and Chairman of the parliamentary Committee for Procedure, Rostom Dolidze, of organizing a conspiracy against Adzharian leader Abashidze. (Soviet Press Digest)
Nov 12, 1997 Unidentified persons in camouflage fatigues fired small-caliber weapons at a Russian border forces helicopter from Turkish territory(Current Digest of the Post-Soviet Press)
Dec 11, 1997 A representative delegation of the Russian State Duma left for Batumi to take part in the celebrations on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the foundation of the association of Russians in Adzharia (ITAR-TASS)
Dec 15, 1997 Aslan Abashidze stated that Russian border guards and servicemen stationed in Adzharia are the guarantors of regional stability. (ITAR-TASS News)
Feb 2, 1998 Activists of a regional Communist party organization in Adzharia began to collect signatures in support of Georgia's accession to the Russian-Belorussian Union and deeper integration between the CIS countries (ITAR-TASS)
Mar 24, 1998 The Supreme Soviet of Adzharia passed important laws, in particular on the courts, law enforcement, fighting corruption and terrorism and the setting up of the republic's Security Council. Abashidze stated that new laws had to be adopted because the Georgian Constitution of 1995 effectively annulled Adzharia's fundamental law. Some Georgian legislators claimed that it was a Ablatant violation of the Georgian constitution (Interfax News Agency)
May 21, 1998 Shevardnadze said that a bicameral parliament would be formed in the country in the near future to protect the interests of the regions. The upper house, Senate, would be made up of representatives of the regions and national minorities vested with the rights to determine the way they should coexist. He offered the position of chairman to Vladislav Adrzinba, leader of Abkhasia. Aslan Abashidze of Adzharia and Lyudvig Chibirov of South Ossetia would likely to be his deputies(Moscow News)
Jun 3, 1998 President Shavardnadze pledged to grant to the ethnic regions of Abkhazia, Adzharia and South Ossetia special status (different rights from the other territories) within the boundaries of Georgian federation (TASS)
Jun 5, 1998 Georgia's Prosecutor General Dzhamlet Babilishvili announced that Georgia's communist party may be outlawed for its Asubversive activity in the country and for calls to overthrow the current authorities (Interfax Russian News)
Jun 27, 1998 Russian and Georgian border guards initiated an agreement, under which Georgian border guards would ensure the protection of the sea border from Batumi, Adzharia to the Psou River beginning July 16. (TASS)
Jun 27, 1998 The Revival faction in the Georgia's parliament led by Abashidze, joined with the Laborites and Socialists to form a new opposition to the ruling Union of Citizens party. The Adzhar faction resented the ruling faction for its obstruction of Zbatumi's quest for economic and political sovereignty. The new opposition advocates closer relations with Russia and a more balanced choice of foreign policy priorities (Soviet Press Digest)
Aug 4, 1998 Council of Europe experts visited Georgia, Abkhazia, Adzharia and South Ossetia and stated that they would recommend that the Council of Europe admit Georgia as a member on certain conditions (Interfax Russian News).
Aug 10, 1998 President Shevardnadze said Adzharia has been and remains part and parcel of Georgia (Tass)
Sep 1, 1998 The Ajar Supreme Soviet Chairman, Aslan Abashidze, warned that he would not allow Georgian troops to enter Adzharia. He announced that if Russian border troops leave, he would recall from civilian life 5,000 Ajars who formerly served in the USSR border troops, assigning this force to protect Adzharia's Black Sea coast and the Ajar sector of Georgia's land border. (Jane Intelligence Review)
Oct 22, 1998 An armed rebellion was attempted but failed near the city of Senaki in Western Georgia.
Feb 26, 1999 A delegation from Georgia led by Shevardnadze, flew to Ankara, Turkey to attend talks on a broad range of bilateral relations. Abashidze was part of delegation.
Mar 4, 1999 Abashidze said that he would make public a secret document of the Georgian leadership on military intervention in Adzharia. He stated that Georgia's power structures wanted to topple the current Adzharian leadership and Georgia's Border Guard Department conducted espionage in Adzharia. However, he said, that Shevardnadze had nothing to do with the plot (Interfax Russian News)
Mar 8, 1999 Shevardnadze expressed skepticism about the prolongation of the Treaty on collective security of the CIS and announced that Georgia thought about separation from the CIS
Mar 22, 1999 Shevardnadze denied a claim that Tbilisi had planned the liquidation of Abashidze. He said that after the claim of a planned act of terrorism against Abashidze had been made, the Georgian Security Ministry conducted a special investigation which did not confirm the claim (Interfax Russian News).
Jun 1999 Aslan Abashidze announced he would visit Tbilisi for the first time in 8 years to attend a congress of his party, the Union of Democratic Revival of Georgia. Abashidze has been rated one of the five most popular politicians of Georgia since 1991. The Abashidze-led party had a 30-member faction in the Georgian parliament and was seen as a moderate opposition. It had been critical of the domestic and foreign policies of the Georgian leadership (ITAR-TASS)
Aug 9, 1999 Russia's support for the Abkhaz separatists has rebound against Russia as a boomerang at first in Chechnya and now in Dagestan, the Georgian president's spokesman, Vakhtang Abashidze, told Prime-News. Abashidze said that "Georgian President Shevardnadze warned Russia in what form Russia's support for the Abkhaz separatism would rebound against it". During 1992-93 combat actions in Abkhazia, many Russian politicians supported Sukhumi. Mercenaries from Russia -mainly from the north Caucasus republics -were fighting on the Abkhaz side. They played a pivotal role in driving 300,000 Georgian civilians as well as people of other nationalities from the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia (BBC).
Aug 14, 1999 The National Independence Party (NIP) of Georgia held a protest action outside the Georgian Parliament demanding an immediate withdrawal of the Russian military bases from Georgia. Prime-News was told by the chairman of the NIP, Irakli Tsereteli, that if the party's demand was not met, the party would take wide-scale measures in the near future(BBC).
Sep 4, 1999 Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said that a decision by the Abkhazian authorities to hold a referendum may only detract from the settlement of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict. Russia, the minister said, strictly adheres to the principle of Georgia's territorial integrity and views Abkhazia as a component part of Georgia. Ivanov also said that Russia, like the world community, does not recognize Abkhazia's self-proclaimed independence. "A referendum, if held, will not alter our stand," he emphasized (BBC).
Sep 11, 1999 Even if a visa regime is introduced between Georgia and Russia, Russian consulates will not open in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Merab Antadze told journalists that Russian consulates could open in these regions of Georgia only after a final political settlement of the ethnic conflicts there (BBC).
Sep 17, 1999 The Tbilisi-based Ministry of Security of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia announced that Russian Border Troops had closed the Russian-Georgian border along the river Psou Abkhazia. The decision to close the section of the border was taken after some politicians had indicated that there had been bases for training Chechen terrorists in Abkhazia (BBC).
Sep 23, 1999 The Georgian newspaper 7 Dghe' reports that before the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Soviet military bases were stationed in almost every town and even in some villages of Georgia. The newspaper points out that the high concentration of military force was due to the fact that Georgia was officially seen as the main bridgehead for containing and repelling a possible attack by Turkish troops on NATO's southern flank. Since the disintegration of the Soviet Union, some units of the Transcaucasus Military District have left Georgian territory, while others have been incorporated into the Russian armed forces and became Russia's military bases. Russia currently has four military bases on Georgian territory, the newspaper observes. One of them, the 137th base in Vaziani airfield, is a few kilometers away from Tbilisi. Troops deployed in Ajaria are stationed at the 12th military base in Batumi. A third one, the 62nd military base, is in Akhalkalaki and it numbers some 3,000 servicemen. Finally, the 345th parachute regiment is stationed at the military base in Gudauta. The Russian bases are situated in some of the most volatile regions of Georgia and are a means of exerting pressure on Tbilisi, the newspaper notes. The treaty on Russian bases in Georgia was concluded back in 1995. In return for signing the treaty, Georgia was counting on Russian assistance in the restoration of the country's territorial integrity and the development of its armed forces. Neither of these promises has been fulfilled. Ratification of the treaty has been postponed indefinitely. In 1998-99, Russian military policy suffered a series of setbacks in Georgia: the pro-Russian defense minister, Gen Vardiko Nadibaidze, was dismissed, Georgia left the CIS Collective Security Treaty, Russian border guards withdrew from Georgia. Currently, all of the country's land and sea borders are guarded by Georgians. The future will tell if this process is going to develop at the same pace, the newspaper concludes (BBC).
Sep 26, 1999 The Georgian Foreign Ministry sent the Russian Foreign Ministry a protest note over Moscow's decision to change the border-crossing regime on the Abkhaz section of the Russian-Georgian border. Speaking to Prime-News about the Georgian Foreign Ministry note, First Deputy Foreign Minister Merab Antadze said that the Russian government's decision was an attempt by Moscow to exert pressure on Georgia. He said that Moscow's decision was completely illogical because Russia had imposed the restrictions on its border with Georgia and Azerbaijan in order to ensure that paramilitaries and weapons would not get into Chechnya. "The lifting of these restrictions at a time when hostilities are spreading to new areas in the North Caucasus could be interpreted as a deliberate action on Russia's part," Antadze said (BBC).
Oct 3, 1999 Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia voted in a presidential election that was expected to secure a second five-year term for Vladislav Ardzinba, first elected by parliament in 1994. Voters were also expected to approve a 1994 constitution which declared Abkhazia a "sovereign, democratic, legal state subject to international law." Abkhazia exists in virtual isolation from the outside world, blocked by Georgia to the east and then by a partial international embargo, and has not been recognized by any government. The international community likewise refuses to recognize the election, as some 200,000 Georgian refugees, close to half of the region's pre-war population, cannot take part(AFP).
Oct 6, 1999 The Georgian Foreign Ministry expressed dissatisfaction with the decision of the Russian State Duma council to send a group of deputies to Abkhazia as observers at the presidential elections in the self-proclaimed republic. "This decision by the State Duma is at variance with Russia's official policy on the question of settling the conflict with Abkhazia and on the Russian leadership's view of the election," says a statement by the Georgian Foreign Ministry circulated in Tbilisi(BBC).
Oct 7, 1999 Georgian ambassador to Russia said that his country wanted Russian peacekeepers to expand their mandate to ensure tighter control over the conflict zone in the breakaway republic of Abkhazia. The diplomat stressed that his country was ready to receive refugees from Chechnya (BBC).
Oct 13, 1999 A well-informed source in the Russian Federal Border Guard Service told RIA-Novosti that Russian Border Troops might be sent to guard the border between Georgia and Chechnya from the Georgian side. An agreement on this matter had been reached between Federal Border Guard Service Director Konstantin Totskiy and his Georgian counterpart, Valeri Chkheidze (BBC).
Oct 27, 1999 It is reported that the Abkhaz section of the Russian-Georgian border has been reopened. It has been decided that the age restrictions for males crossing the border should be lifted(BBC).
Nov 10, 1999 President Shevardnadze said that Georgia would not accept Moscow's request to let Russian troops use Georgian territory for their operation in Chechnya. He said that Georgia was not acting against Russian interests. The president said that keeping Georgia out of the Chechen conflict worked to the benefit of both countries. Shevardnadze said that Georgia opposed Russia's plan to end reciprocal visa-free travel arrangements. He said that this would make life difficult not only for Georgians in Russia but also for Russian troops in Georgia and their families(BBC).
Nov 14, 1999 The Georgian newspaper 7 Dghe' said, that the General Staff of Russian armed forces had devised several plans for invading Georgia, which include direct air strikes on Georgia. The paper said that Russia would direct its attack on Georgia, considering that independent Georgia "provokes" the North Caucasus peoples to fight for independence. The paper observed that the West was not likely to provide Georgia with military assistance in a possible Georgian-Russian conflict (BBC).
Nov 18, 1999 The Georgian Foreign Ministry issued an official statement protesting against a Russian bombing raid on Georgian villages located near the Chechen border. However the Russian side denied that its aircraft had carried out these air strikes and promised to supply video evidence to back up their statement(BBC).
Nov 22, 1999 Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov told reporters that Russia and Georgia had agreed to hold comprehensive talks on Russia's military bases.(BBC)
Dec 9, 1999 The Georgian Parliament made a statement, on the events in the North Caucasus. The statement said that a wide-scale military action, carried out by the Group of Russian Troops in the Transcaucases was threatening Georgia's stability and security and it should not be used as a weapon to fight terrorism. The Georgian Parliament expressed hope that the Russian leadership would manage to settle the conflict by peaceful, political means. Georgian members of parliament also said that certain forces in Russia were doing everything in order to drag Georgia into the North Caucasus conflict. The statement also protested over accusations made by Russian officials that Georgia was allegedly covering Chechen terrorists (BBC).
Dec 23, 1999 The Georgian Foreign Ministry received a note from the Russian Foreign Ministry in which the Russian side states its readiness to deploy observers on the Chechen section of the Georgian-Russian border and allow Georgia to deploy its observers on the Abkhaz section of the Russian-Georgian border (BBC).
Dec 24, 1999 Russia again accused Georgia of supporting the Chechens. Russia's latest statement on this issue was particularly aggressive (BBC).
Dec 28, 1999 At a meeting with political scientists and journalists Georgian Foreign Minister Irakli Menagharishvili said that Georgia was considering the necessary procedures and instruments for entering NATO. Menagharishvili observed however that at that point Georgia was not prepared for entry. "We need to come a long way to bring the state's economic and military systems into line with NATO standards," he said. Regarding Georgia's involvement in the CIS, Menagharishvili said, that the latter had lost its function of providing security for Georgia. The only thing that kept Georgia in the CIS was the aspect of economic cooperation, he said (BBC).
Jan 21, 2000 The 10th round of Georgian-Abkhaz talks began behind closed doors at the UN office in Tbilisi. Preliminary agreement was reached on two key issues. The sides agreed on the stage-by-stage rehabilitation of Inguri hydroelectric power station. After lengthy talks, agreement was also reached on the reburial from Babushera of 47 Georgians. There was an issue on which the sides were unable to reach a compromise. This was the issue of Abkhazia's status which Abkhaz separatist prime minister Vyacheslav Tsugba considered non-negotiable (BBC).
Jan 26, 2000 Commenting on the opportunity to replace Russian troops stationed in Georgia with NATO's armed forces Col-Gen Leonid Ivashov, head of the Russian Defence Ministry's directorate for international military cooperation, said: "Russia will certainly work against the process of Georgia's association with NATO." According to General Ivashov, Russia "continue to hold the view that the process of NATO expansion and its progression towards our frontiers is a threat to our national security, and Russia is taking steps to neutralize this threat"(BBC).
Feb 5, 2000 The Foreign Affairs Committee of the Georgian Parliament protested against a statement by an "anonymous" top official of Russian troops stationed in Georgia saying that Russia did not intend to withdraw its military bases from Georgia. Russian diplomats and the military grounded their intention referring to an agreement signed during the OSCE Istanbul summit which only concerned conventional arms but said nothing about military bases(BBC).
Feb 22, 2000 Fierce clashes raged on Chechnya's border with Georgia between Russian forces and separatist rebels trying to break through a tightening noose of advancing government troops. The Georgian leadership angrily denied Russian claims that Georgia had sided with the Chechens in the five-month old conflict and offered refuge to some of the rebel leaders during the war. It is reported that Russia has sent 100 extra soldiers and some two tonnes of supplies to the Chechen-Georgian border to cut off any Chechen escape (AFP).
Apr 11, 2000 It was reported that Georgian president, Eduard Shevardnadze, achieved a convincing victory in the first round of Georgian presidential elections(BBC).
Apr 21, 2000 An official Georgian delegation headed by Foreign Minister Irakli Menagharishvili arrived in Moscow to take part in talks on questions of military and political cooperation and the implementation of the accords reached in Istanbul in November 1999 on the stage by stage reduction of Russian military bases in Georgia. The Russian and the Georgian delegation to the Moscow talks would discuss the whole range of bilateral relations in the military sphere (BBC).
Apr 21, 2000 Following Russian -Georgian talks on defense and political matters, Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Ilya Klebanov, told Interfax that Russia intended to honor its commitments made at last December's OSCE summit in Istanbul on closing down its military bases in Gudauta and Vaziani, Georgia. Before the end of the year, Russia and Georgia must agree on the deadlines for closing down two other Russian bases in Batumi and Akhalkalaki, Klebanov said. The two sides would discuss ways of jointly using the assets remaining in the bases following their closure, he said. The next round of talks on Russian military bases in Georgia is expected to be held in June and July 2000(BBC).
May 8, 2000 According to an article in the Russian newspaper Kommersant, Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze, is "no longer reckoning on reaching an amicable agreement with Moscow over the key problem of Abkhazia". The newspaper uses as evidence Sheverdnadze's announcement that he would not be seeking Vazha Lortkipanidze's reappointment as state minister. Lortkipanidze " had been regarded as Georgia's most pro- Russian politician" (BBC).
May 12, 2000 It was announced that five amphibious ships were ready to remove the first Russian military equipment from Georgia. The withdrawal of military bases from Georgia is expected to begin from Vaziani in one year. Analysts note that the withdrawal of troops from the Transcaucasus is a costly loss of Russian influence in the region(BBC).
May 16, 2000 Georgian ambassador to Russia Malkaz Kakabadze said that the question of pulling Russian peacemakers out from the conflict zones in Abkhazia and South Ossetia had not been raised by Tbilisi but rather by the Abkhazian side. "Russia is actively involved in the process, being an intermediary in the settlement in Abkhazia and South Ossetia," he said. The activity of Russian peacemakers in former South Ossetia "deserves the best compliments which cannot be said about Abkhazia. The Georgian ambassador pointed out that Georgia's relations with Russia were very active and Georgia would continue to maintain them(BBC).
May 24, 2000 The Russian General Staff said that more than 1,500 well-armed people "nurturing plans for a possible breakthrough onto Russian territory" were concentrating outside the Chechen stretch of the Russian-Georgian border. First Deputy Russian Chief of the General Staff, Col Gen Valeriy Manilov, told the press that "... a considerable number of them are people of a combat-ready age, who carry arms and are setting up growing stocks of arms and materiel"(BBC).
May 25, 2000 Chairman of the Georgian State Border Guard Department Valeri Chkheidze accused Russian News Agencies of misinforming the public. According to Russian Agencies 3000 armed Taleban mercenaries and 1,000 Chechen militants were concentrating in the mountainous areas of Georgia and preparing to cross the border to Chechnya and fight against Russia's federal troops. Information was also spread about Russian air force bombing a convoy of 80 Afghan militants. Georgian General Valeri Chkheidze said that all reports had originated from the Russian military news agency (BBC).

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