Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
Monday, October 25, 1993
Washington, DC.

The briefing was held in room 2322 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC, at 10 am., Samuel Wise, moderator presiding.

Present: Samuel Wise, Staff Director, Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe; Dr. Charles Fairbanks, and Thomas Goltz.

Director Wise. All right. I’m going to open the briefing now of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe and welcome you this morning to a briefing that we are pleased to be able to sponsor on the subject of the war»torn country of Georgia.

Of all the former Soviet Republics, Georgia has been the most unstable in the last few years. The country has been racked by inter ethnic, internecine, and interstate violence and now seems on the brink of total collapse and civil War.

In September, Georgian forces were defeated in the year-long conflict with Abkhazia. The forces of Georgian leader Eduard Shevardnadze are now fighting supporters of ousted president Zviad Gamsakhurdia, in Western Georgia.

Shevardnadze has been reduced to appealing to Russia and the CIS, Commonwealth of Independent States, which Georgia joined only last week for assistance in securing strategic rail lines connecting Western Georgia and the rest of the country, as well as Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Russian forces have agreed to ensure control of these rail lines, though they staunchly deny intervention in Georgian domestic affairs.

Even Georgian supporters of Shevardnadze have reacted with bitterness to his invitation to Russia and his political prospects appear bleaker than ever. Meanwhile, President Clinton sent Shevardnadze last week a letter of strong continued support and an invitation to visit Washington,

The Commissions interests in holding this briefing stems from our mandate under law to monitor the compliance of the 53 member states of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe with the commitments which they have taken-with each other and these include, very importantly, human rights commitments. So among the things (p.1) that we’ll be interested in hearing today from our speakers will be comments on the commission of human rights violations in this war, There have been reports, for example, that in the area won by the Abkhaz that there were a number of atrocities committed on civilian populations in the aftermath.

And the Commission is also hoping to-to hear at this briefing, about the question of whether Russia is bent on establishing, or reestablishing I should say, the Soviet empire-the so-called question of the Near Abroad, or what some people compare with our Monroe Doctrine. Having played at best an ambiguous role in the Georgian conflict, the Russians have now assured Secretary Christopher in Moscow that they will join the United States in supporting Shevardnadze.

Shevardnadze had called on the Russians for support. If the Russians respond, can they be accused of Neocolonialism? And finally, what position should the United States take with respect to Georgia and to Russia’s role there?

This morning, to speak about these matters, we are fortunate to have two distinguished speakers who have direct and recent experience in the area. Dr. Charles Fairbanks, who is research professor of International Relations at the John Hopkins Foreign Policy Institute. Dr. Fairbanks is a specialist on the former USSR who returned 1 week ago from Georgia, where he has been studying the Abkhaz-Georgian conflict in the context of post-communist ethnic warfare.

Our second speaker will be Thomas Goltz, correspondent for the New York Times and other publications. Mr. Goltz has been living in Baku, Azerbaijan, since September 1991. In September 1993, he spent 10 days in Sukhumi, capital of Abkhazia, with Eduard Shevardnadze while the city was being shelled. Mr. Goltz has also spent time in Western Georgia with pro-Gamsakhurdia forces.

So on behalf of the Chairman and Co-Chairman of our Commission, Senator DeConcini and Representative Hoyer who incidently have visited the area themselves, I welcome our distinguished panelists and ask Dr. Fairbanks to begin.

Dr. Fairbanks. I have written some about Georgian history, but my real interest in going there this fall was because I think that post-communist ethnic conflict, the kind that we see in Bosnia, Croatia, Moldova, the North Caucasus, Abkhazia, and Tadzhikistan, represents an important development in world politics and in a certain way something new, and it obviously poses very big challenges for American foreign policy which we have not been able to meet very well.

It’s important most of all for two reasons. I think that there is the possibility of real genocide in these conflicts. Genocide, which I thought had been ended with the virtual end of totalitarianism as a political system, but that was a very hasty judgment. And second, there is a very direct security interest, most of all through the question of nuclear weapons. Both the Ukraine and Kazakhstan, in fact, have nuclear weapons in some kind of way and both states are places where there are very big Russian minorities and a real possibility of the kind of struggle and ethnic cleansing developing there that has taken place in Bosnia and the southern part of Abkhazia. So both those are very strong reasons for our concern.

I can come in the question period to sort of specific questions about the events that have taken place recently, but I wanted to sketch five realities of most of these former Communist countries, that is the countries of the Former Soviet Union and the Eastern (p.2) European countries to a lesser degree, that dominate the political and human rights landscape there and present the problems for us that they do present.

The first and most important of these things is that there aren’t any real armies there. We know from television, and you can certainly see on the ground, that these places are full of armed men, and some of them even have tanks and armored personnel carriers and so forth. But they’re armies only in a medieval sense. They are the personal followings of individual leaders like Kitovani, Ioseliani, Kobalia in Georgia, the Green Berets group in Bosnia-one could go on and on.

People join those groups spontaneously and they usually quit when they feel like it, I talked to a taxi-driver in Tbilisi who said, “Why, I was at the front for three months,” and I said, “Well, the war has gotten worse. Why did you leave?” and he said, “My family needed me.” So these are medieval wars fought with medieval military organizations: no real chain of command, no uniforms, in most cases, in Georgia and Abkhazia, and with World War II technology,

One of the things that the public debate about Bosnia has never realized is the very low military effectiveness of most of these forces. They do have some heavy equipment. Most of these wars are fought with the Grad rocket launcher, which is a kind of long-range, inaccurate area weapon mounted on trucks, mortars, rifle-powered grenades, and small arms. All the fancy stuff that we heard so much about during the Cold War just doesn’t figure in those wars.

The decisive fact about the military weakness of those forces, though, is that they don’t have the whole organization and panoply of things–uniforms, flags, units, and so forth-which have the function of keeping people from running away when they want to run away. You may be very brave, but if you find yourself under sudden shell-fire and you don’t know when it’s going to stop there is a very natural impulse to run away. The function of modern armies, which were organized in the 17th century, was to try to control that instinct. And in these places it isn’t under control, which goes far to explain the Georgian rout in Ahkhazia. These very fragile militias were, through Russia intervention, subjected to a level of fire power that they just weren’t in any way equipped to withstand.

I was struck by this the day after I arrived, which was a day of mobilization following the fall of Sukhumi. As I wandered around town I found that mobilization meant people dressed in civilian clothes, largely men, gathering around the headquarters of the various militias-like Mkhedrioni, Chanturia’s party – and so forth, and talking in little groups about what to do and then, if they were convinced about what to do, getting a gun and going to the front. They didn’t even wear armbands. I asked someone in Mkhedrioni “Well, why don’t you wear a uniform” and he said, “We prefer American clothes.”

This is very indicative, I think, and what it suggests to me is a horror of organization that is not spontaneous. Ioseliani’s people, who are part of the Mkhedrioni militia, have a real loyalty to Ioseliani and a certain kind of Georgian patriotism, and on some occasions they fought quite bravely, though some of them are also criminals. But it all has to come from them. After the communist experience which was so disciplined, so regimented, people dread the idea to being subjected to any kind of authority that comes from outside them, That means that there aren’t any armies except, and these are very important exceptions, in many of the Eastern European countries, Serbia, Montenegro, Russia, and perhaps the Ukraine; I don’t know about the Ukrainian case. The Russian army isn’t very good anymore, not very capable of combat, hut there are units. There is a structure, a chain of command, officers, and so forth.(p.3)

That means that the places where there are no armies are extraordinarily vulnerable to intervention by these states that have the skeletons of armies, like Russia and Serbia. Surrounding Russia and Serbia, there are two power vacuums, two rings of’ weakness that invite every kind of trouble. For Western policy, this has the consequence that the most important thing we could do for security in those areas, is to create real armies, or to help them with that, or to help our friends since we have good reasons not to do it ourselves, There’s a lot of military equipment around the world, a lot of military trainers around the world, but they aren’t where they’re needed. In Bosnia that means ending the arms embargo, which has the implication that we Americans have to get killed in Bosnia because the threatened people there can’t defend themselves.

I think, in this case, we cannot have security through peace keeping forces or mediation or any of those things, though they’re important, but they won’t work by themselves, You can only have security through the diffusion of power. There is an incredible inequality of power between, say, Russia and Georgia.

A second reality, is the disintegration of the state or the government, which we know best as the territorial disintegration. First the Soviet Union fell apart, then Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and so forth began falling apart, and in some areas it’s reached the level of individual towns or districts, in other places not. It’s complicated.

One sees now in the news the last few days that’s going on also in Bosnia. We saw it in the coup in Russia in August 1991, and also recently. It’s true in Moscow, or in St. Petersburg, or in Kutaisi. In any town where there’s a bureaucratic hierarchy, people who are supposed to obey higher orders, make up their minds whether to do it or not, and during this latest struggle in Russia, most of them made up their minds in the right way, from my point of view. But it was still up to them basically. There wasn’t an unthinking obedience to orders. In Georgia, we already saw when Gamsakhurdia was president the secession from the government of the Prime Minister Sigua and the commander of what they called an army though it’s really a militia, Kitovani. And that kind of thing is still going on in the Ajar autonomous republic, for example, down by the Turkish border. Aslan Abashidze, who comes from an old aristocratic family there, basically runs the place with no interference from Shevardnadze’s government. And he has his own relations with Turkey, Russia, the Abkhaz, Gamsakhurdia, Shevardnadze-he has his own foreign policy, essentially.

The town of Rustavi, which is a big steel-malting town a few kilometers from Tbilisi, is dominated by about 150 guys from the Mkhedrioni militia who rob people at will and decide what will happen in that town. It’s kind of like the Wild West with no effective posses.

During the fall of Sukhumi, in the capital one could see a power vacuum. Disintegration of the state also exists in Russia. That’s part of the story of the Abkhaz war, though maybe not the Whole story, that Grachev, the military intelligence organization, and Vladimir Semyonov, the commander oz” the ground forces, were carrying out their own policy. And whether or not the foreign minister and the president of Russia agreed with that policy made some difference, but it certainly wasn’t decisive.

I believe that the ultimate cause of that is a delegitimization of the public world or a loss of public spiritedness due to communism, where everything was a public matter, a political matter . If you drank vodka it was political; if you were lazy, it was political. (p.4)

In the National areas, if you read some poem from 600 years ago, that was political. And people came to hate that The result was to destroy the sense of a public world that has legitimate power over people.

One of the consequences of that is the extraordinary weakness of political parties in these places. I attended a meeting of the Union of Georgian Traditionalists, which is one of the incredible number of political parties in Tbilisi, and it was five people gathered in a tiny apartment full of books. That’s what a political party, for the most part, means in Georgia or in Azerbaijan-or in Russia for that matter.

Now out of this situation in which people somehow care about their countries but the government and the public world has ceased to be legitimate, there tends to come a peculiar kind of nationalism. Gamsakhurdia speaks for nationalism against Shevardnadze in a way. And certainly he persecuted the Abkhaz and the Ossetians enough when he was president, as a kind of demonstration of his nationalism. If you look at these maps I brought which are new Georgian maps, you’ll see that the border of the South Ossetian Autonomous Province has been neatly erased and it’s been added to adjoining regions. But during the worst defeat that Georgia has suffered since 1921, the fall of Sukhumi, according to some intercepts, Gamsakhurdia had made a deal with the Abkhaz to dismember the country.

So the key thing about this kind of nationalism is that it is not patriotism, to use the formula of the brilliant Hungarian dissident, Caspar Miklos Tamas. It doesn’t build up a strong state, rather it tends to tear down the existing state, and it results in intolerance and ethnic cleansing, winch has taken place in Abkhazia in a very big way. First in a minor way by the Georgians, then in what I gathered was a very systematic way by the Abkhaz against the Georgians. Now we have the first case of ethnic cleansing in which a clear minority has cleansed the majority.

The final aspect, which I won’t really say anything about because you understand it, is the economic collapse in these places. My salary as a full professor is equivalent to $3 a month in Georgia which will buy you a cup of Espresso at the Metechi Hotel. And that makes the disintegration of the state worse because a minister, a member of parliament, cannot possibly live on his official salary. They’re all in business, and the business in a way is more important because you have to have it to survive. So it’s a vicious circle, that there cant be economic recovery until there’s order, but there can’t be order until there’s economic recovery. It’s a tremendous problem.

Director Wise. Thank you very much Dr. Fairbanks. Mr. Goltz.

Mr. Goltz. Thank you, sir. I think I agree with just about everything you said. And if there is any disagreement we’ll let it come up in questions. But I’d like to direct my comments into a more specific area, as Dr. Fairbanks has given a wide-angle lens of the problem.

At present I am making a tour universities, think tanks and other institutions Usually, I start out my presentation with a ditty, I hope it does not offend. “Back in 1836 Houston said to Travis, ‘Get some volunteers and go bu defend the Alamo.” The Alamo was in and is in San Antonio, which is in Texas, which was then part of northern Mexico. And if we use contemporary terminology, the individuals who went down to the Alamo would he called mercenaries, who were pursuing American policy objectives toward expansion and creation of empire. However much we like Texas, this is a historical fact It’s (p.5) a promotion of self-determination in order to create a temporarily independent republic in anticipation of absorbing that republic into a larger state-that is, the United States.

I see this pattern throughout the Former Soviet Union right now, as Russia attempts to reassert itself in various regions. This can be in Georgia, this can be in Moldova, this can be in Tadzhikistan, this can be in Azerbaijan.

The question that we’re all faced with here is this: are the Travises, Bowies, and Daniel Boones of the Russian Federation merely mercenaries, rogue elements in the Russian military, or is this policy? I grant you we could argue this either way. We can say that there has been a total break-down in the Russian command structure in the military, and that these elements are just popping up either as mercenaries on the ground. We can say that Grad missiles are merely falling off of trucks, that tanks are falling off of trucks, that large army depots are simply exploding across the Caucasus by accident, Or we can see a pattern there.

The most dramatic example I can think of in terms of something that looks closer to policy than chaos is the war in Abkhazia. I’ve had direct experience in the region on a number of occasions in 1992, and again in early 1993. Most recently I was in the city with Sbevardnadze up until its fall.

And I think Dr. Fairbanks is perfectly accurate when he talks about the non-armies of the region, of the chaos in the ranks, of the Azeri military forces, of the Georgian military forces, of the other non-armies of these new republics. But often we run into some very, very organized individuals going up against these non-armies.

My first experience of this was in February earlier this year when I was up on the front lines of the Gumista River, outside of Sukhumi with soldiers from Rustavi. Ground lighting was furious. But in the middle of the night, suddenly there was a new sound in the air. It was an airplane. My hosts informed me that it was an SU-25 Bomber. It flew with impunity over the city for about a half-of an hour before selecting its target and releasing what was described later as a 500-pound bomb on a civilian neighborhood.

Then that plane or another plane came in and performed a strafing run with wing-cannon and rockets, raking the same civilian neighborhood. Then the plane or the planes disappeared and went back to their bases which were north of the Gumista River.

In that the Abkhaz have no air force, I asked myself: where were these planes coming from? Where were they taking off from? Who were the pilots? You may ask me the questions, “Did you see the plane take-oil?” My answer is “no.” “Did you see it land?” My answer is “no.” “Did you see the tail markings?” My answer is also “no.” “Did you see the pilot‘s orders?” My answer is also “no” But I do know one thing, that anything that is flying from the north in this particular region is taking oil’ from and flying through Russian controlled airspace on the Black Sea, where theoretically not a sparrow can fly without being picked up on radar.

This seems to me much closer to policy than a bunch of mercenaries in Nagorno-Karahakh or possibly in the trans-Dniestr region of Moldova. How is it that planes, flying multiple missions, can leave their fields in southern Russian without someone quite high up in the general staff knowing about it? What is the policy? I am not exactly sure. Simply to mix and match in order to reestablish the Soviet empire? This is the direction that I tend toward, but again I lack hard facts. Later, in the action in Abkhazia, when Sukhumi was under intense Ere following the “massive spontaneous violation” of the cease-fire signed by Mr. Shevardnadze and the Abkhaz leadership this summer, it was (p.6) clear to me that the individuals pinching off various choke»points in the city were quite professional, whereas the Georgian forces defending were, as Dr. Fairbanks suggested, basically gung-ho kids with guns in their hands with no military training whatsoever.

A friend of mine once suggested that there are three types of army: there are those with good training, and good motivation, and they go forward; there are armies with good training and no motivation. They run away and fight another day. Then there are armies with no training and high motivation, like the Georgians, and that is a turkey shoot, and that is exactly what happened Sukhumi as a army with high motivation and no training went up against an army with very high motivation and very high training.

Who are the Abkhaz forces? It’s a difficult thing to get a complete profile of the army but I tend to agree with Mr. Shevardnadze, who maintained that the Abkhaz forces were only 20 percent Abkhaz and the rest either volunteers from the Diaspora or possibly mercenaries from the North Caucasus as well as elsewhere in Russia.

A friend of mine whom I spoke with this morning in Tbilisi managed to get down with the Abkhaz and ride with them to the Ingouri River, which separates Abkhazia from Mingrelia. And out of a group of 12 front line soldiers, 2 were Abkhazian, 2 were Armenian, 1 Armenian locally from Sukhumi, 1 from Yerevan who was too young to go fight the good fight in Karabakh, and the rest were either from the North Caucasus or from places like in Siberia.

What were they motivated by? Looting. They had been promised houses with tangerine gardens. They had been promised cars. And as soon as the city fell, of course, there started to be a break between the Abkhaz, who had been presumably motivated by patriotism, who just wanted their country back free of the “Georgian colonial yoke,” that’s how they express it, and then there were the individuals who were fighting alongside them.

The individuals who were fighting with them immediately set about looting the city of Sukhumi and putting everything on trucks to cart beyond the Gumista River and back to destinations where they Wanted to sell their booty.

It’s my suspicion that the new republic of Abkhazia is going to be basically a criminal state in that it will be filled with these volunteers and mercenaries who have been promised housing. If the crop of tangerines of my neighbor‘s is good this year, well then I might just go and take that crop from him. I do not have a particularly optimistic view of the future of the new republic of Abkhazia.

There were various other reasons for this conflict growing so far out of control. ‘There was the external dynamic, which I will call Russian meddling. But there was also the internal dynamic which was the destruction of the democratic movement within Georgia.

Mr. Gamsakhurdia is a very problematic character, there is no question about this. But he did have something which we would call democratic legitimacy. He was removed from power by a putsch_ Perhaps Mr. Shevardnadze didn’t have anything directly to do with this, but the individuals who effected this putsch against Mr. Gamsakhurdia, specifically Mr. Tengiz Kitovani, have remained in intimate association with Mr. Shevardnadze ever since, and this has tainted his legitimacy throughout Georgia. Does Shevardnadze have support? Yes. Does he have international support? Yes, But ladies and gentlemen, my contention is that the basic problem for Eduard Shevardnadze in maintaining control of Georgia today is that his house is built on sand; his government was built on the basis of a putsch, a military putsch against the democratically elected leader of this country. (p.7)

Also, the sad thing for Mr. Shevardnadze today and his ultimate survivability, is that everything that has happened since 1992, since the day of the putsch, has been a fulfillment of the direst predictions of the Gamsakhurdia crowd. I do not agree with their predictions, but everything has been fulfilled.

They said that Gamsakhurdia had been putsched in order to bring Shevardnadze back to Tbilisi. People denied this. But 3 months later, Shevardnadze was back in Tbilisi. Shevardnadze’s people then went to Abkhazia looting along the way. That was Mr. Kitovani, then the Mkhedrioni, aggravating what had previously been a political problem between the government of Georgia and the government of the autonomous Abkhaz republic into a conventional war and then beyond a conventional: A war marked by great atrocities on both sides.

If you speak with the Gamsakhurdia crowd today or even a month ago, their prediction was that Shevardnadze was in Sukhumi in order to sell out the city, to give it to the Abkhaz, to give it to the Russians in order m force Georgia back into the Common-wealth of Independent States and invite Russian troops back into the country.

And all these things happened. I don’t agree with the “Grand Conspiracy” aspect of this, but the facts once again are underscored in red ink: for those who support the idea of democratic legitimacy in Georgia, whether they liked Mr. Gamsakhurdia or not, Mr. Shevardnadze is at the very least a total failure, or to believe the Gamsakhurdia crowd, he is part of a grand conspiracy to bring Georgia back into the CIS.

I do not agree with the grand conspiracy aspect. Traveling with Mr. Shevardnadze in Sukhumi as mortar fire was coming down, as artillery fire was coming in, I discovered that this was a very, very courageous man indeed, possibly even foolishly brave. But that does not make him necessarily the leader of Georgia that we should automatically support – simply because he is either brave or because he was the fishing buddy of James Baker III.

I think I would leave my remarks at that. There is the internal dynamic of the dissolution of Georgia, there is also the external. The external I will leave for you with a phrase from the Russian which is, “Protiv loma nyet preon (prioma) – Против лома нет приема” which means “There is no defense against a crow bar,” and I think this is certainly true in Georgia today.

Thank you very much.

Director Wise. Thank you very much, both of you. You’ve painted a fascinating picture of a country which I sometimes think can be compared to the theater of the absurd. There are so many contradictions, so many angles to everything, so much suspicion. It’s very, very hard to define what-what little truth there is in the situation. And certainly the picture of Georgia as a society, almost a tribal society, Medieval leaders gives a very fascinating background to the events of today.

Before we tum to questions from the floor, I’d like to start one myself-which I suggested, perhaps, in my opening remarks. To what extent do you feel, either or both of you, that Russia should be held responsible for a policy uf neocolonialism. You’ve touched on this, but now we have a situation where Shevardnadze is asking the Russians to come in, and the Russians have agreed to do it, Is this something that we, in the United States and the Western world should be in favor of or we should condemn as the reestablishment of the colonial aspirations of some in power in Moscow?

Mr. Goltz. I don‘t know if we’re in the position to condone or condemn what is already a fait accompli. This morning I spoke with Tbilisi and I was informed that Russian (p.8) troops had not only deployed, but that they were going forward in tanks they had brought in-in the Poti region and elsewhere in western Georgia against the Gamsakhurdia crowd, who had been obliged to retreat. Official word was that the Russians are mending the tanks of the Georgians, but my sources in Tbilisi suggest that this is far more than just a mechanical assistance.

Now, can we condemn this? The leader of the country has asked them in. Until the leadership of the country changes, I think we are stuck with a fait accompli. Do we still want to promote the idea of an independent George or do we wish to encourage the idea of central control from Moscow because it’s more convenient and possibly a lot less bloody? This is a difficult question. The central control is certainly more convenient. but it seems to me to go against those principles that we allegedly support, like sovereignty and independence of those states that do not wish to be part of this bloc.

Director Wise. Professor Fairbanks.

Dr. Fairbanks. I guess I don’t really think that the Russian occupation of the railway line and the membership of Georgia in the CIS is a fait acoompli in any lasting sense. I think that the whole of the ex-Soviet Union is in chaos, and likely to be for a very long time, and it will ebb and flow. The consolidation of authority by Yeltsin somewhat reduces the chaos. But Yeltsin’s victory over the Supreme Soviet was quite a narrow victory, in the provinces he lacks support.

The CIS, I think, is just like the Holy Roman Empire. It’s essentially a fiction. So there are going to be a lot of changes on the ground in Georgia and one may very well see a Russian withdrawal in the future.

It seems to me that one has to hold Russia as a country responsible. I’m not sure that one can blame a desire, on the part of some people, to recreate the Soviet Union. I was not a fan of the Soviet Union, Not only in Russia, but in a lot of other places there is a kind of nostalgia for the Union now, for understandable reasons. But there is no coherent Russian policy of recreating it. There’s just a policy of causing trouble and brutality as far as I can see.

The fact that Russia, as a precondition for helping out Shevardnadze, at a high level of the government posed entry into this fictional CIS as a precondition, shows a brutal way of conducting diplomacy, which is not in Russian interests and not in our interests either. It’s not going to create order there.

Director Wise. Are you suggesting that our policy, therefore, is flawed in supporting this sort of thing?

Dr. Fairbanks. Well, we’re not officially supporting it. As I understand it, we denounced the Abkhaz for breaking the truce. We did not say anything to the Russians about failing to enforce their truce and their mediating role. And it seems to me we should be making the point in a measured and calm way that, while we know Russia is a great power and the disorder in Russia’s periphery is an understandable concern for Russia that we don’t support setting up these kind of movements as you described which create additional disorder and actually disrupt the peace-keeping role the Russians have claimed for themselves at the United Nations. But, I think we need to take a slightly higher profile toward that.

Director Wise. All right. How about from the floor? Are there any questions from our Commission people or from others in the audience? In the back. (p.9).

QUESTION FROM THE AUDIENCE. I am Patricia Carley, U.S. Institute of Peace. Mr. Goltz mentioned the illegitimacy of the Shevardnadze government as being part of the problem, and I wonder what would both of you suggest that we do in terms of Georgian domestic politics? Is it in any way plausible to suggest that we should demand or support the idea of the reinstatement of Gamsakhurdia as the democratically elected government, given the fact that while many people support him, there’s another faction that despises him and-and would maybe work-or actively fight to see him deposed once again? What are our options? What can we do if Shevardnadze-is he-is he what we‘re stuck with, given everything else that’s gone on and then his international reputation? What can we do to somehow promote some sort of stability in the domestic political scene in Georgia?

Director Wise. Who’d like to start? Mr. Goltz?

Mr. Goltz. Sure. As you pointed out, Georgia is split down the middle at this point, those who support Mr. Gamsakhurdia or democratic legitimacy, and there are also a substantial number of people who are equally devoted to Mr. Shevardnadze and their vision of democratic legitimacy that came after the putsch.

I would suggest the impossible, that some sort of referendum be held or something to tie these two sides together. Because without a marriage of these two sides-which I grant you is going to be very difficult at this point because of just the sheer level of alienation between the two camps-that the tension between them will tear Georgia apart.

Whether that means a runoff election between Eduard Shevardnadze and Zviad Gamsakhurdia, I don’t know. The person of Shevardnadze is so deeply distressing and alienating to so many people on the one side and the person of Mr. Zviad Gamsakhurdia is so equally alienating and distressing to people on the other side that if we are playing the politics of personalities, then I guess the Georgians will have to find a third personality to be a leader of some sort, I grant you this is not going to be an easy task.

Dr. Fairbanks. It strikes me that one needs to change the framework in which we think about these problems. It’s also true in places like Bosnia that the wars and civil wars are not going to end. The best one can hope for in the short-term, I think, is to keep down ‘the level of violence, and that’s where peacekeeping and mediation and so forth can play a role.

But the weakness of the state in a place like Georgia cuts in two directions. It means that we have much more opportunity to work with the society underneath the state, not necessarily dealing through the government in a diplomatic way, than we would have in normal circumstances. And it seems to me in these places one can build up nuclei of order of various kinds create foreign investment, create armies which are able to maintain order in relatively limited areas. And then eventually see if that can be extended.

Director Wise. You know, that remark about foreign investment reminds me of something I read over the weekend which mentioned that the West, I think it was particularly the United States, only invested in the Baltic areas and that we had shown sort of a preference for the Baltic areas and we hadn’t invested in such areas as the-Georgia and its neighbors, but who in their right mind would want to invest there with-given the climate. I mean it‘s not the most propitious place in the world. Azerbaijan has oil and there are a lot of oil companies that are in there, and they are sort of on-again off-again, it seems to me in ‘terms of what they can do, realistically. (p.10).

Dr. Fairbanks. Well, you have to remember these aren’t real wars. They’re like the wars of the middle-ages. They can result in real and tragic defeats like the defeat and the ethnic cleansing that followed the fall of Sukhumi. They have that potential, but most of the time they’re a kind of ritual, a chess game, the level of violence and the losses are very low. And it seems to me the international community could create in a place like the capital of Georgia-or the city of Poti or the city of Batumi, a climate where communications to the outside world, particularly by air, are secure, in which people can invest. There’s a tremendous amount of money to be made in a place like Georgia, if you have a certain minimal degree of order, just as there was a tremendous amount of money to be made in the Old West in spite of cowboys, posses, and so forth.

Director Wise. Well, it-it certainly is a mixed picture. I suppose that at least one symbol-the Metechi Hotel-the palatial hotel in the midst of all this in the capital and the $3 coffees, that goes on I suppose?

Dr. Fairbanks. Yeah, and that is a sign of something. Probably, though it didn’t happen in Sukhumi, if Gamsakhurdia takes the capital, the Metechi Hotel will work out some kind of deal and they have their own security guards and so forth and it will survive. One needs to develop those kinds of protective mechanisms to a slightly higher level.

Director Wise. Mr. Goltz, any comments or should we go on?

Yes, John. Would you go up to the speaker please.

QUESTION FROM THE AUDIENCE. I’m John Finerty from the Commission staff. Are there any other areas of Georgia, maybe like Adjaria, that you’re aware of that may cause problems or maybe the conflict still going on in Ossetia or things down the road that might be problematic?

Dr. Fairbanks. In Ossetia there‘s a truce there but there are constant low level violations, and there’s a latent war going on in Ossetia for which there is no clear solution.

The area between the capital and the Armenian border is very disorderly and violent, around Dmanisi and Bolnisi and so forth. It’s a very mixed ethnic area and there’s been resettlement, from Svanetia and so forth, which the locals could not get along with. There is this phenomenon elsewhere where individual towns are dominated by local big shots so that there’s a potential for further unravelling, but it may not take place.

Mr. Goltz. The two big ticket items in Georgia were Ossetia and Abkhazia and they’re effectively gone already. My understanding of what happening in Adjaria, as Professor Fairbanks suggested, that it is quiet because there is no central control over Adjaria and the leader is running his own show.

There is speculation periodically that if the centrifugal forces continue then possibly the Azeri-populated Southwest might try and spin-off and join Azerbaijan or something and the Armenian-populated South-central might spin-off to join Armenia. I don’t see that myself I see both of these particular groups being pretty quiescent, but as Dr. Fairbanks has pointed out, that there is much of the country that is simply under the control of bandits.

Director Wise. Question-yes, Michael.

QUESTION FROM THE AUDIENCE. Michael Ochs, Helsinki Commission. Apart from a general desire for stability in the region and apart from a desire on our part to mitigate the human consequences of all of these wars, I’d like to ask the panelists, starting with Dr, Fairbanks, what are U.S. interests in Georgia? Do we have any interests and what are we or should we be prepared to do to realize them? (p.11).

Dr, Fairbanks. Well, l think our ultimate security interests in the periphery of the CIS are very great because of the nuclear issue, and because of the issues involving Turkey, Iran, and China, which is very engaged in Central Asia. That doesn’t apply to a lot of particular cases. I think Kazakhstan is the most serious problem. I would not segregate the humanitarian issues from foreign policy as we often do. Because I think modern Western man is just not able to accept genocide with a shrug and so it becomes a tremendous problem for policy.

But the final thing we shouldn’t do is to think of it only in terms of threats. There tends to be in this kind of neo-isolationist atmosphere that’s opened up as a result of Somalia the notion that we have interests only where there are threats to us, America is also a country that likes to seize opportunities traditionally. The American government, sadly, under both administrations since 1991 has had absolutely no interest in this. Whereas American society has been very interested in it. Americans have been moving to Moscow at the rate of 5,000 a year and it’s accelerating the last couple of years, They’ve been moving to Prague at 10,000 a year. In Nalchik, which is the capital of the Kahardino-Balkar Republic, probably the most obscure place on earth, there‘s a small group of Americans who are advising the government and playing an important role and I suspect making a lot of money as well.

American society is very dynamic, very interested in the outside world, it has a sense of excitement about the things that can be done. As I put it once, it’s the last frontier for us. What’s wrong with that instinct? Why can’t that instinct be acknowledged or protected by American diplomacy?

Director Wise. Mr. Goltz.

Mr. Goltz. I have nothing to add to that. Absolutely.

But I will add a question, a rhetorical one. At that moment when engagement might have been most useful, that is in the Autumn of 1991, I found it more than passing strange that the two republics that I deal with, primarily Georgia and Azerbaijan, were put on the pariahs list of the State Department for aid. You will recall James Baker lII’s statement at Princeton University, saying that until both of these countries got into human lights shape like friendly republics such as Uzbekistan and even Kazakhstan, that no American aid would he forthcoming.

This changed when Shevardnadze returned to Georgia and certainly there’s been a substantial amount of aid that has gone into Georgia, either humanitarian or security aid, since then, But Azerbaijan has been left on the pariahs list. I found both of these things strange because these were the two countries in the Caucasus who actually took the idea of independence and sovereignty seriously. Presumably they were exactly those countries that we should have been aiding as opposed to pumping money into a Turkmenistan or a-oh, find me another example, an Uzbekistan possibly.

Now it’s too little, too late to jump in and help, as both these countries have gone back into the CIS. Maybe we ind it more convenient that they’re back in the CIS, I don’t know. But I End it more than passing strange that it was these two countries that really took the idea of freedom and sovereignty seriously that did not get the sort of American support they could have in their moment of need.

Director Wise. Now, Michael again.

QUESTION FROM THE AUDIENCE. Another question for both panelists. Would you care to comment on Eduard Shevardnadzes continued feasibility as leader of Georgia, (p.12) given the essential failure of most of his policies over the last year and a half, and now he’s been reduced to appealing to Russia for aid and calling in Russians who will be shooting at Georgians, even though they are his own political opponents?

Mr. Goltz. I addressed that earlier so I’]l hand the microphone over to Dr. Fairbanks exclusively on this one.

Dr. Fairbanks. I don’t think that Shevardnadze has done a very good job as the head of state of Georgia, unfortunately, though it was in very difficult circumstances. And I think that the various disasters that have happened, most of which he was not responsible for, have had, as Mr. Goltz said, the inevitable effect of damaging his prestige further.

So I would think that we were coming to the end of the Shevardnadze period. I do think that both Shevardnadze and Ioseliani are unsatisfactory figures; not a lot can be hoped from them, but one shouldn’t wish either for their immediate exit from the political scene, Shevardnadze, because of his international prestige and so forth, does provide a kind of formula that prevents other political forces from quarreling. He’s able to work with Ioseliani, who controls, for the time being, the major nucleus of military power that Georgia has. So I suppose the old and often stupid pro-Shevardnadze policy is one that I would continue in a low-key way while recognizing he’s not likely to last too long.

I would wonder again whether in a situation where we have fantastic leverage because of the incredible disparity in standards of living, it is possible for us to build up leaders, to build-up social institutions. A dollar is just solid gold in Georgia. And American diplomacy, even without any dollars, has substantial influence,

One gets the impression in Tbilisi that the American embassy is largely ignored by the Department of State, which is an impression one has in other areas of foreign policy as well.

Director Wise. Well, I must say that I am struck by your last comments and some earlier comments that you made in terms of the West, recommending the United States taking a much more activist role in Georgia, Are you suggesting that we go in with our dollars and those that we don’t spend on the $3 cups of coffee we use to try to bend the place to our will?

l notice also that you said earlier that we should create real armies or we should assist in the creation of real armies. Maybe you could expand on that as well, Should we we even be in the business paradoxically of what it seems like trying to create greater instruments of, well, I suppose control, but also destruction.

Dr. Fairbanks. Well, I unambiguously believe that we should, because I think a policy in a world that’s wracked by terrible conflict, struggles to the death between ethnic groups, genocide and so forth, if we confine ourselves to things like mediation and peace-keeping and never give anyone weapons-never, in the case of Bosnia, allow anyone to get weapons-that’s just a sentimental policy, It’s a policy of sacrificing innocent people to their predatory neighbors under the guise of kindness, and that’s the very definition of what we’ve done in Bosnia, for me.

And so, it seems to me if we are not going to be sentimental, we have to recognize that where there is no government, military force is extremely important. There are more and less noxious forms of military force. The most noxious form of military force is the criminal gang that claims to be an army that you find in Georgia, Azerbaijan, even Nagorno-Karabakh, Moldova, Bosnia, Serbia, and Croatia. If one gave arms to the most (p.13) westernized and youngest elements of the population and created an army that had some discipline, that really obeys the government, that had a chain of command, to begin with it wouldn’t commit atrocities this easily. People do atrocities because there is no discipline to start with and then they continue doing them because atrocities were done to their friends and relatives by the other side, And if one has professionalization of armies in these areas, one will greatly reduce the level of human rights violation.

Mr. Goltz. I’d like to relate a little story that gives you an idea of how these non armies work even on furlough. I was coming back from Kutaisi. I managed to get on Mr. Shevardnadze’s plane, which had been taken over by military police-they were bringing in a couple of corpses along with all of their weapons to Tbilisi for a night on the town, grenade launchers and all. Well, we were packed aboard this plane and the stewardess decided she was going to show-off and disassembled a Kalashnikov. So she did this and then pointed it at my head. Happily there was no bullet in it. The soldiers all laughed. Then she put the gun back together again and threw the grenade launcher into the luggage rack and we camped back by the toilet as she produced some excellent marijuana to give to her new boyfriend who was the head of the military police.

One gets used to these situations, but when I reflect upon it now, as Dr. Fairbanks has suggested, this is one of the reasons for the self-destruction of these societies. If this is your military police force, imagine who are the people they’re policing.

Dr. Fairbanks. Well, this is just like Bosnia. In Banya Luka at dusk they just begin shooting off their guns ‘cause it‘s fun, you know. During all those years of Tito you had to have toy pistols and now you have the real thing. But there is another way of using guns. Because of our prudishness about armies, about security assistance, about military and police training, we’re not doing anything to discourage the had way of playing with guns and to encourage the responsible way of using them to create some kind of order.

This story describes a whole crescent of the world from Zagreb to the Pacific Ocean.

Director Wise. I see in this a rather bizarre picture of the war there and in-in Bosnia as well. I don’t think either of you is saying that there’s not an awful lot of horrible, tragic things that are done to innocent people and civilians, all of the things that have-we’ve heard about in Bosnia and-I assume the same sort of thing is happening in the Georgian scene as well.

Mr. Goltz. I’m assuming the same. I left Sukhumi on the 28th, on the day the city fell, it was the night of the 27th and we were expecting atrocities. But I was not there to witness them with my own eyes. After 2 years of working in the Caucasus, I am reluctant to comment categorically on events that I have not seen with my own eyes.

But reports now coming in from journalists whom I respect suggest that this is indeed policy: There’s no other word for it: Ethnic cleansing has been going forward, sometimes in a “friendly” way when Abkhazians come up to their Mingrelian or Georgian neighbors in Sukhumi and say, “Look we’re neighbors, it’s time for you to go,” and try to evict them in the gentlest possible manner, and then there are also other means of getting people out of their houses: summary executions, general brutality, rapings, this sort of thing. I beard such stories in the mountains, and I’ve heard such stories from other journalists. It fits a pattern that I don’t find surprising, but again I can not categorically confirm it because I did not see it with my own eyes or hear it from direct individuals who I knew and trust. (p.14).

Dr. Fairbanks. I think there‘s no doubt of it. There’s probably a lot of exaggeration – one thing you find out in these ethnic wars is that it’s like an unhappy family. One side feels so blamed and so much on the defensive that they can’t concede anything to the other side. They never did anything right, they never suffered anything. only we suffered and so forth.

But there’s really no doubt of it. I mean one could see the corpse of the unfortunate Shartava whose ear and nose had been cut of! He was the Prime Minister of the Georgian Abkhaz government in Georgia who was captured by the Abkhaz forces. These parts had been ineptly stuck back on by the undertaken This war was a really grim business, grim, gruesome.

Director Wise. Do you have a question. Please.

QUESTION FROM THE AUDIENCE. Nelson Growder, I work for Senator Durenberger. Dr. Fairbanks, I want to break a lance with you first. I think both the Germans and the Japanese were well ordered and had very good armies and I think they committed a lot of atrocities.

Second – the question I’d like to ask you is what happened to the U.S.S.R. army stationed in Georgia?

Dr. Fairbanks. Of course, you know atrocities can be committed by organized armies too, and there’s some of that with the Serb and also Croatian forces in Bosnia, for example. But right now the problem of the kind of atrocities that come from disorder is a much more significant problem, I would say.

The Russian army, as I understand it, had evacuated most of the country except for Batumi, which is the big port in the southwest near the Turkish boarder, and Akhalkalaki which was a major stationing point for one of the divisions that was supposed to invade Turkey if there were ever a general war, and I believe they are still there, We a partly Armenian area or partly Armenian. The Armenian population wants them to stay and they may have other reasons as well. And there are some facilities in Abkhazia which the Russian army never left. They are reoccupying the railway line from Poti to Baku and are allegedly going to protect it against anyone who tries to interrupt communication – that’s where things now stand.

Do you have anything to add on that?

Mr. Goltz. Well, there are certainly Russian officers left in Tbilisi.

Dr. Fairbanks. But not that many, and I don’t think there’s much military capability there. There are still helicopters and aircraft at the airport with Russian markings and so forth. But these are very, very demoralized forces and they’re subject to a lot of these same dynamics that the Georgian and Abkhaz and Azeri armies are.

Mr. Goltz. And I think I disagree with that. I find it very interesting that this dis-organized, chaotic army with no leadership anymore, selling off their weapons, deserting massively, as per the “chaos in the ranks” theory. Then a week after being invited back into Georgia, this has suddenly reemerged us a highly disciplined force able to deploy immediately in Poti and then down all the rail lines in areas of heavy conflict. It’s a very impressive job for an army that is allegedly falling apart.

Dr. Fairbanks. There are small Russian units that are still quite disciplined, very, very capable that obey orders systematically and so forth. You may have noticed that the actual forces that were used to intervene on Yeltsin’s side against the Supreme Soviet were extremely small-a couple of thousand basically. (p.15).

I would still say that what I’ve said is true of the bulk of the army and navy. It’s not true of the strategic rocket forces-—so it’s a spotty picture. But I think that one of the reasons that Russia can only cause trouble is that a real reoccupation by force of the ex-Soviet Republics, I think, is not really feasible now. But it’s entirely feasible to give weapons to trouble-makers, to give advisers who had been in Vietnam or Afghanistan, who were extremely skilled who were given to the Abkhaz to do a certain amount of planning for them and so forth. It was a combination of Russian skill and Abkhaz brawn.

Well, no. I mean because the Abkhaz were such a minority but I think they did provide the vigor of that operation. Nothing that the Russian army has done by itself is that impressive.

Mr. Goltz. Further along this line is that there is an element that I’d like to bring up since I’m walking on shaky ground here but as we say, “If you’re walking on thin ice you might as well run.”

Why the reoccupation or the involvement in all of these ethnic conflicts? Specifically in Georgia, but the example goes to other areas as well. Increasingly it’s my theory that this is the Russian military industrial complex acting in its own interests, much like the American military industrial complex acts in its own interests.

In the case of Georgia and Abkhazia, it’s the equivalent of losing Florida or maybe Southem California. It’s vacation land, it’s tangerines but it’s also Cape Canaveral. I don’t have a long list of installations built in the rim-republics of the former Soviet Union that tie indirectly into the military industrial complex of the Former Soviet Union. But I do have hints and whispers about various installations here and there, of the installations that make the bolts to put the motor into the nuclear submarines, or periscope parts and things like this. If we are looking for a design within all of this, that’s where I tend to look for it. That there is an institutional interest in reestablishing or taking control once more over this vertically integrated structure of the military industrial complex of the Former Soviet Union.

Director Wise. Yes.

QUESTION FROM THE AUDIENCE. Jessica Atkins, National Conference on Soviet Jewry. I was just wondering what situation of the Jewish population is?

Mr. Goltz. In Georgia, generally speaking or Tbilisi, or Abkhazia specifically? Nothing special?

Dr. Fairbanks. I don’t have the sense that they’re particularly threatened. Georgia doesn’t have a history of anti- Semitism. That’s a tribute to the Georgians but it may also have to do with the fact that in the 19th century, Armenians filled the economic niche that Jews filled in the Ukraine and Belorussia and so forth, which resulted in a lot of envy and antagonism. So, as far as I know, things are all right but of course in these kinds of conditions one can’t speak for the future.

Director Wise. Any further – yes.

QUESTION FROM THE AUDIENCE. Eileen Wickstrom, National Peace Foundation. I’d like to ask both panelists what arrangements or solutions do you see as necessary for the resolution or cessation of the war in Georgia?

Dr. Fairbanks. Well, I don’t think the war will cease for a long time. I think it will die down, as it has in Bosnia, for example, to a relatively low level of destruction and human rights violations only when one establishes some kind of balance of military power, rather than a complete power vacuum in these places, supplemented by international (p.16) mediation and peacekeeping. Russia has to play a role in it, but after the Abkhaz experience, you know, Russia cannot simply be allowed to pursue a cynical policy under a U.N. facade, I think. You know, it’s very strange. Do people ask what happened to the U.N. peacekeepers or the U.N. observers in Abkhazia? Everyone seemed to stop talking about them as soon as the Abkhaz won the war and began their ethnic cleansing.

Director Wise. Well, I think there is a certain amount of possible hypocrisy in the air. There is a lot of concern expressed about the Russians acting alone, even if invited into these areas, but truly what’s the alternative? Who else was willing to go in there? The U.N., beyond a few observers and this and that, I don’t think is prepared, nor is any of the other countries individually or in alliances to go in there with military force themselves. What about the countries of Central Asia or other countries in the area, former Soviet Union. Do you think they would be involved or willing to participate?

Dr. Fairbanks. I’m not suggesting the deployment of American troops to a place like Georgia, but I do think that there are very interested neighbors, which I’d rather not name, and then countries that just want some international good will by belonging to peacekeeping forces, there might be ways they could make money out of it and so forth. The extraordinary weakness of the threat to peace keeping force is something that no one ever talks about. One disciplined battalion—450 people—I believe could conquer the whole of Georgia in the present state of things. I find it amazing that in a place like Bosnia, where there are armies of that kind, though slightly more capable, we are afraid of any kind of military intervention because of the notion that it will unleash a kind of World War II. It won’t. These military forces are weak.

Director Wise. Any last word, Mr. Goltz? I think we’re just about to finish.

Mr. Goltz. You asked what will happen to the war? Which war were you referring to; the war in Ossetia, the war in Abkhazia or the brewing civil war now between the Gamsakhurdia-ites and the Shevardnadze-ites?

In terms of the war in Abkhazia—I suspect it is over. I don’t see how anybody from either Mingrelia or Georgia would go back into a region that is now been ethnically cleansed without absolute, iron-clad guarantees of life and security, which will never be provided. The U.N. was there and did nothing, they were unable to deploy. In fact one could even cynically see a pattern there that when trucks and equipment finally arrived at Sochi on September 15, ready to deploy over the next few days, surprise, surprise, a massive spontaneous violation of the cease fire occurred on September 16th.

As a result, Abkhazia is effectively lost to Georgia, just like Karabakh is effectively lost to Azerbaijan. I can not imagine my friends who have now been driven out going back to their houses at this point. So that means that war is also over.

Dr. Fairbanks. Well, my final word would be that a war is not over until there is some kind of peace treaty or at least a truce. And that in the former Yugoslavia and the Former U.S.S.R., the definitions of a settlement on the two sides are so incompatible that you can’t have that. And I think that the Abkhaz are going to suffer for having gotten everything they wanted rather than 90 percent, because the Georgians won’t accept that and it will simmer on, I think. As they say themselves, there are 3,000,000 Georgians and only 90,000 of them, and that’s a problem for the future.

Director Wise. Well thank you both, our time is up. I think we had a very—for me anyway—interesting, stimulating discussion. I learned some new_ information. I have a (p.17) clearer picture of a very muddy situation, maybe that’s one way to put it. And we appreciate both of you participating with us.

Before closing I would announce that the Commission will be holding a briefing on Russia on Wednesday, from 10 to 11:30 in room 352 of the Cannon Building and we’ll be looking at democratic prospects in Russia en route to the elections and our two speakers–two panelists will be Paul Goble, of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Ariel Cohen, Salvatori Fellow, Russian and Eurasian Studies of the Heritage Foundation.

Thank you all very much for coming today.

[Whereupon, the proceedings adjourned at 11:35 a.:n.]

Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
234 Ford House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515


DENNIS DeCONCINI, Arizona, Chairman
STENY H. HOYER, Maryland, Co-Chairman

VACANT, Department of State
VACANT, Department of Defense
VACANT, Department of Commerce

SAMUEL G. WISE, Staff Director
JANE S. FISHER, Deputy Staff Director
MARY SUE HAFNER, Deputy Staff Director and General Counsel
DAVID EVANS, Senior Advisor
MIKE AMITAY, Staff Advisor
JOHN FINERTY, Staff Advisor
ROBERT HAND, Staff Advisor
TDM MURPI-IY, Technical Editor
MICHAEL OCHS, Staff Advisor
CORINNE R. ZACCAGNINI, Office Administrator




  • Dr. Charles Fairbanks, Research Professor of International Relations at the Johns Hopkins Foreign Policy Institute – pg.2
  • Thomas Goltz, Correspondent. With the New York Times – pg.3


CSCE :: Briefing :: Briefing: Current Situation in Georgia and

– 11:19am

BRIEFING: CURRENT SITUATION IN GEORGIA AND IMPLICATIONS FOR U.S. POLICY. October 25, 1993 – Click here for the previous year’s Briefings…id…id…Cached

CSCE :: Briefing :: Briefing: Current Situation in Georgia and

– 11:19am

25 Oct 1993 Helsinki Commission to Hold Hearing on U.S. Policy Toward OSCE Press ….. Briefing: Current Situation in Georgia and Implications for U.S.…id…Cached

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