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    GEORGIAN INTERIOR MINISTER ABOUT ATTEMPT ON RUSSIAN GENERAL

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    MOSCOW, April 7, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - Investigation into an attempt on Major General Alexander Studenikin, commander of the Russian forces in Transcaucasia, has yielded specific results, according to Georgian Interior Minister Georgy Baramidze.

    "Operative measures have produced specific results," the minister said at a press conference in Moscow.

    "Inquiry is being conducted thoroughly. There are several avenues of inquiry," said Mr Baramidze. He assured that investigators were doing their utmost to find the criminals.

    "The Russian command in Transcaucasia is giving a positive assessment to the Georgian law enforcement agencies' actions," said the minister.

    Mr Baramidze said the assassination attempt had been designed to undermine relations between Georgia and Russia. "It is not fortuitous that the blast came off when the Georgian minister was visiting Brussels, while all the security ministers were in Russia," said Mr Baramidze.

    He said it was a provocative act, which was staged by forces that seek instability in Georgia. These forces also want to thwart Georgia's dialogue with the leadership of Adzharia (which is still hosting one of the two remaining Russian military bases), which is aimed to deter the current developments in the autonomy from escalating into a conflict.

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