Georgian Digest: excerpts

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Date: Mon, 19 Oct 1998 10:50:25 +0300 (EET DST)
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Subject: Georgian Digest: excerpts

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Georgian Digest: excerpts

Compiled by the Caucasian Institute for Peace, Democracy and
Development (CIPDD)
Text: Tamara Shamil
English version: Guram Dumbadze
Editor: Emil Adelkhanov-Steinberg
October 15, 1998

1. Chevron Directs All the Oil Pipelines towards Georgia
The president of the Chevron oil company visited Georgia not long ago.
At his talks with Eduard Shevardnadze he told him a new strategy of
the company which will turn Georgia into Chevron's main transit
corridor. Nowadays, Chevron transits only 3 mln tons of oil from the
Tengiz oilfield, Kazakhstan, through a rather expensive and
complicated route via Azerbaijan. At the first stage of the new
project, the old Khashuri-Batumi pipeline will be reconstructed, then
a new Baku-Khashuri one will be laid.
Eka Kvesitadze. "7 Dge" No. 120, October 15, pp. 1, 2
2. The Kurd Labour Party Menacing the Turkish Businessmen in Georgia
Some Turkish businessmen who run their business in Georgia accuse some
members of the International Kurd Culture and Information Centre in
Tbilisi of extorting money from them. They say that the Centre is just
a branch of the Kurd Labour Party. The deputy chairman of the Centre
does not deny that his organisation is aimed to create an independent
Kurd state and "defeat the authoritarian regime of Turkey". The
Turkish embassy in Georgia warns such incidents may spoil relations
between the two countries and expresses its hope that Georgian
law-enforcement authorities will protect the Turkish businessmen.
Prime-News. "Meridiani 44" No. 119, October 14-16, p. 2


October 16, 1998

1. The Georgia-Chechnya Road Took Stepashin to Tbilisi

Sergey Stepashin, the Russian interior minister, visited Tbilisi
yesterday to co-ordinate joint anti-crime measures with Georgian
authorities. He expressed his concern with the crime situation in the
North Caucasus and claimed that the Georgia-Chechnya road which is
currently under construction might seriously aggravate the crime
situation in Georgia. He said Georgia and Russia must join their
efforts to check 
cross-border smuggling of weapons and kidnapping. As to the
possibility of extradition of "the main criminal of Georgia", Igor
Giorgadze (the former chief of the state security service who is
charged with an assassination attempt against Eduard Shevardnadze), no
concrete answer was given.
Toma Chagelashvili. "Sakartvelos Gazeti" No. 27, October 16, p. 1

2. Georgia Encircled with Armed Conflicts

The prospect of two new large-scale conflicts - Turkish-Syrian and
Iranian-Afghani - has loomed near the country's borders, the newspaper
argues. If they turn into military confrontations, Georgia will found
itself encircled by armed conflicts: the incessant hostilities in the
North Caucasus, the Karabakh conflict and Iran in the south-east, the
Turkish-Kurd confrontation, with involvement of Syria, in the
south-west. Given two self-proclaimed republics within Georgia itself,
- Abkhazia and South Ossetia, - such development of events will make
it impossible for Georgia to benefit from its geopolitical location.
Under such circumstances, in the newspaper's opinion, the Georgian 
leadership should make building a strong army its first priority. The
reality, however, is just contrary: the country's defence budget is
going to be cut almost by a third.
George Djaparidze. "Meridiani 44" No. 120, October 16, p. 1


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