OIL TERMINAL MINED IN BATUMI

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TBILISI, May 5 (RIA Novosti) - Georgian Defense Minister Gela Bezhuashvili confirms reports that the armed formations in Adzharia, a rebellious province within Georgia, have planted mines to demolish an oil terminal in the port of Batumi.

Appearing before reporters after his meeting with President Mikheil Saakashvili Wednesday, the minister warned that "the mining of the oil terminal may have disastrous implications for the local population." It may cause an explosion of great magnitude, leading to a large amount of oil leaking into the sea.

Those who agreed to mine the oil terminal ought to have thought about the people first, not about their own careers, Bezhuashvili pointed out.

Georgia's National Security Council broke the news that the detachment of rapid reaction subordinated to the Adzharian leader Aslan Abashidze, mined the oil terminal of the Batumi port.

Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania arrived in Choloki, the administrative border with the Adzharian autonomy Wednesday afternoon. He crossed into Adzharia on foot. Once there, he got into a car to go to Kobuleti, the venue of talks with the provincial interior minister, Dzhemal Gogitidze.

"I've come to resolve the situation peacefully. The Adzharian population has made its choice already. Abashidze cannot remain Adzharian leader. We want to bring this process to an end peacefully and calmly," Zhvania told the media.

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