MOSCOW, MARCH 14, (RIA NOVOSTI) - Aslan Abashidze, president of Georgia's Adzhar autonomy, is leaving Moscow by air quite soon. More than fifty will be accompanying him - among them members of the State Duma, Russia's lower parliamentary house, Russian journalists, and their foreign colleagues accredited in Moscow, Badri Meladze, republican First Deputy Prime Minister, said to Novosti. He heads the Adzhar legation in Russia.
"As far as Mr. Abashidze knows, the Georgian top is plotting to make his plane land elsewhere, but we shall land in Batumi [Adzhar capital] - we are flying home," said Meladze, quoting his boss.
As Mr. Meladze assumed, earlier on the day, in today's telephone conversation with Abashidze, President Mikhail Saakashvili of Georgia threatened to order his plane brought down as the recalcitrant republican leader would be coming back from Moscow.
To that, Aslan Abashidze promised to specify the flight time and number to ease the task.
In the same eventful phone conversation, President Saakashvili was also intimidating the Adzhar leader with prospects to arrange an international blockade of the republic, and repeated his demand to pass the Batumi seaport and customs office into Georgian jurisdiction, alleges Badri Meladze.