BBC/Georgian TV: Georgian defence chief does not rule out threat to Georgia's stability in autumn
- Georgian defence chief does not rule out threat to Georgia's stability in
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; May 31, 2001
[Presenter] Georgian Defence Minister Davit Tevzadze made a sensational
statement at a news conference held on the sixth day after the incident in
Mukhrovani. Tevzadze said that an alarming message about the likelihood of
acts undermining stability in Gali District [Abkhazia] and Pankisi gorge [an
area adjacent to Chechnya] had appeared in the ministry's intelligence reports
back in March. As for the 25 May mutiny, Tevzadze said that had the incident
lasted 24 hours longer, the situation would have become almost unmanageable...
[Davit Tevzadze, the Georgian defence minister, addressing journalists] In the
beginning of April, Minister of Internal Affairs Kakha Targamadze sent me a
letter which said unambiguously that according to information available to his
ministry's operative service, a very large amount of cash had entered Georgia.
I cannot answer the questions as to who brought this cash to Georgia, where it
is being distributed or who has received the money because I obviously have no
knowledge of it. However, it is evident that something is being prepared and
the current stability has been threatened. The crisis in Gali was an obvious
indication of this. I mean the crisis which has just recently been defused.
Perhaps someone showed goodwill or maybe someone decided to use other ways to
achieve the goal. I am not sure. Is the issue taken off the agenda? Well, I
personally think that it is for now. Does it mean that nothing will happen in
the autumn? No it does not. Because the true destabilization in Georgia will
prove to be a very interesting phenomenon for everyone. For the West, it will
be the reason for finally giving up on Georgia, while for others, it will be a
very good chance to have certain status-quos maintained in Georgia...
A Russian journalist, Mr [Pavel] Sheremet, was here some time ago. He was
angry at the president because the latter did not receive him. So, he threw
this phrase at us - are you not afraid that a general of ours suddenly shows a
desire to resolve his own national problems here in Pankisi on his own will?
You know, I may be a naive man but I am not naive enough not to see something
behind this phrase.
[Correspondent] The minister finds a link between the incident in Mukhrovani
with NATO multinational exercises scheduled to be held in Poti in June and
says the cancellation of the exercises would confine Georgia to complete
Also today, a statement about the probable destabilization was made by the
former intelligence chief, MP Irakli Batiashvili.
[Irakli Batiashvili, MP] Serious work, very serious work, is under way.
Latent, hidden work is being conducted among different circles of society,
different groups and different regions, which is aimed at preparing a
foundation for serious destabilization.
[Correspondent] The chairman of the Georgian Parliament says that he is not
aware of any information about the expected attempts to cause destabilization.
[Zurab Zhvania, the chairman of the Georgian Parliament] No concrete
information in this respect is available to me at the moment.
[Correspondent] As for the stand taken by the Ministry of Internal Affairs
with regard to Tevzadze's statement, Minister Kakha Targamadze does not deem
it necessary to comment on it.
Source: Georgian Television, Tbilisi, in Georgian 1500 gmt 31 May 01