TBILISI: Georgian PM criticizes Russian governor’s “foolish escapade

Georgian PM criticizes Russian governor’s “foolish escapade” in Abkhazia

Kavkasia-Press news agency
26 May 04

Tbilisi, 26 May: Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania has commented on
[Russian] Krasnodar Territory governor Aleksandr Tkachev’s recent visit
to Sukhumi [capital of breakaway region of Abkhazia] and Tkachev’s
statements about the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict.

Zhvania said he did not regard this as a manifestation of the Kremlin’s
policy [Cossack delegation led by Tkachev visited Sukhumi on 22 May].

“This was a foolish and irresponsible escapade. This may only bring
us back to the ambiguous relations of the previous decade,” the prime
minister said.

“We have no desire to return to the past. We want to see a new,
pragmatic Russia. We want to respect Russia’s interests in the region
and we hope that our sovereign interests will also be respected,”
he noted.

“We will never understand these kinds of hysterical escapades. If
Georgia’s and Russia’s policies are defined by this sort of gestures
and by such people, the Caucasus will once again be divided by many
lines of confrontation, while we wish to turn the Caucasus into
an arena of cooperation. These people do not want to help Russia to
resolve its problems and to increase Russia’s international authority,”
Zhvania said.