Protesters Demand CIS Peacekeepers Withdrawal

(Tbilisi. December 21. Civil Georgia) – Several hundred protesters are gathered in front of the State Chancellery (President’s administration) demanding withdrawal of the Russian peacekeeping forces deployed in Georgian-Abkhazian conflict zone under the auspices of the Commonwealth of Independent States. 

Georgian Parliament passed the resolution in October 2001 demanding Russian peacekeepers’ withdrawal from the conflict zone.

On November 30 at the CIS summit in Moscow President Shevardnadze stated that until it is not decided which country would replace the Russian peacekeepers, they will remain in Abkhazia.

Foreign Minister Irakli Menagarishvili stated in December, that Georgia holds consultations on the peacekeeping operations in Abkhazia with several countries, along with Russia.

Today authorities of the breakaway Abkhazian republic asked Russia and the rest of the CIS member states to prolong Russian peacekeepers mandate, which expires on December 31 2001.