Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Sunday, 14 March 2004

Renewed tension in Georgia as Saakashvili is barred from Ajaria

Recently elected Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has been barred by troops loyal to Ajarian leader Aslan Abashidze. His visit was apparently part of a campaign for the forthcoming parliamentary elections. The President's convoy was halted by warning shots, although Mr Abashidze's son, Giorgy (mayor of Batumi), has indicated he sees no problem with a visit from the President, but only if he entered without a special military unit accompanying him - perhaps not an offer that Saakashvili is likely to take up unless he has a death wish, although of course politically dramatic and courageous moves such as this have occasionally turned a whole situation around against all expectations.

Undoubtedly from a domestic Russian point of view, showing support for the Ajarian leader Abashidze will play well with many Russian voters in today's elections - Mr Putin, already massively likely to win, is hardly likely to suffer by following such a popular course. Frankly, though, the relative stability of Russia in recent years is being bought at huge price and carries (in my view) enormous long-term risk for the world's genuine democracies.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Welcome to my comment area. Whilst all comment is welcome you are requested to respect the views of others. To read full terms for use of this facility, please visit my 'Terms of Use' section, linked to under the 'About this Blog' heading at top right of the blog. Note added 12JUL2010 - All comments will now be pre-moderated before they appear in this blog; this is a measure to prevent 'spam' commenting, which has become frequent of late. Thank you.