The volunteers who want to join the protest action of the Adzharian opposition in Batumi have taken this decision after their 2,000-strong column was stopped at the location of Choloki on the administrative border.
The Rustavi-2 Television Company has reported that when the supporters of the Adzharian opposition tried to cross the Choloki River, unidentified persons started automatic fire into the air.
"A part of the volunteers will go to Kakuti to try to cross into the territory of the autonomous republic. We are not frightened; we do not want to provoke illegal formations and cause bloodshed," Georgian finance minister Zurab Nogaideli, who is among the volunteers, said.
As the Novosti-Georgia news agency reports, Nogaideli stated that the action participants "will try to enter the Kobuleti district of Adzharia through all possible ways."
"We shall enter the Kobuleti district either across the Choloki River or at the location of Kakuti or through some other road. Our task is to join those who have gathered in Batumi," Nogaideli told journalists.
According to his information, over 15,000 people have gathered for the meeting of the opposition in Batumi now. "And more people are arriving," he noted. 'No one will be able to oppose the will of the people," the minister stressed. He noted that "actually all of the Kobuleti police had joined the opposition."
According to Nogaideli, the arrival of Georgian Premier Zurab Zhvania and interior minister Georgy Baramidze at Choloki is expected.
Now about 400 persons are staying in the Guria district (Western Georgia) near the destroyed automobile bridge across the Choloki River. As Novosti-Georgia reports, these people are mainly the natives of Adzharia. They include Georgian parliament deputies, representatives of the Georgian executive branch, the leaders of the political movements Our Adzharia, Democratic Adzharia, the Kmara movement, and other public and non-governmental organizations.
The persons who have gathered at Choloki intend to unite and then to continue their march to Batumi.
As representative of the Our Adzharia political movement Gela Vasadze said, the people who have gathered at Choloki are holding negotiations with about 50 members of the armed formations of Abashidze on the surrender of arms.
"The members of the illegal armed formations are actually encircled by the representatives of the Adzharian population and the opposition and they will have to surrender," Vasadze said.
He did not rule out that difficulties might emerge on the Kakuti-Kobuleti road for demonstrators moving towards Batumi. "According to available data, snipers from the detachment subordinate to Abashidze are located at this section," Vasadze noted.