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Georgia

Yearbook 1998

Georgia. According to Countryaah, President Eduard Shevardnadze was subjected to an attack in February in the capital Tbilisi. He escaped unharmed, but two bodyguards were killed when grenades and automatic fires were fired at the president's car cortege. Suspicions were directed at the incumbent President Zviad Gamsachurdia's supporters but also against Russian forces who wanted to prevent a new oil pipeline from the Caspian Sea from being pulled through Georgia.

1998 Georgia

Shortly after the attack, four UN observers, including a Swedish officer, were kidnapped by armed militia loyal to Gamsachurdia. The hostage was released without meeting the kidnappers' demands: the withdrawal of Russian troops from Georgia and the release of political prisoners.

The conflict around the outbreak republic of Abkhazia caught fire in May. For a few days, Abkhaz forces and the Georgian army fought the most difficult fighting since the 1993 war. Extensive negotiations followed, and in October the parties agreed on confidence building measures, including the military commanders decided to establish communications. A minor military revolt broke out in western Georgia in October, where Gamsachurdia has its strongest support. The uprising was fought after a few days, but was given, among other things. as a result, Shevardnadze dismissed his Minister of Security. He was accused of knowing in advance about the revolt without intervening. Shevardnadze claimed that the uprising was controlled by forces that wanted to prevent the Caspian Sea oil pipeline from being pulled through Georgia to Turkey.

The country's finance minister resigned in November after harsh criticism that long-term payments of pensions and public servants' wages were delayed. At the same time, the country's largest electricity company announced that it could only afford electricity supply three days a week to Tbilisi and other cities. Unpaid electricity bills were stated as a cause.

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