(Tbilisi, January 14, Civil Georgia) – President Shevardnadze stated on January 14, that Russian peacekeeping forces deployed in Georgian-Abkhazian conflict zone under the auspices of Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) will remain in the region till the problem of their replacement is not solved.
Ukrainian Foreign Affairs Minister Anatoly Zlenko assured Georgian authorities during his visit in Tbilisi on January 12 that Ukraine would dispatch peacekeeper in case the operation will be under the UN auspices.
Russian peacekeepers’ mandate expired on December 31, 2001.
In October 2001, Georgian Parliament passed the resolution demanding Russian peacekeeping troops’ withdrawal.
President Shevardnadze stated on November 30 2001, after the meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that he is not for hastening Russian peacekeepers’ withdrawal any more, although Eduard Shevardnadze supported the Parliamentary resolution before.