Russian Ambassador in Georgia Confirms Abashidze is in Moscow

TBILISI (RIA Novosti) – Russian ambassador in Georgia, Vladimir Chkhikvishvili confirmed that former leader of the Adzharian autonomy (within Georgia), Aslan Abashidze is in Moscow, reports the Novosti-Georgia news agency.

"I know he is in Moscow, but where exactly – I’ve got no information," the ambassador said. "I’m pleased that everything was settled in Adzharia without violence and bloodshed. The situation there is more or less normal now," Chkhikvishvili said.

Abashidze left Batumi in the early hours of Thursday. He flew to Moscow together with Russian Security Council Secretary Igor Ivanov. Aslan Abashidze’s son, Georgy Abashidze, who has been Batumi’s mayor for the last three years, as well as some people from Abashidze’s entourage, flew to Moscow as well.

According to the information by some Georgian mass media, Adzharian State Security Minister Soso Gogitidze flew to Moscow together with Abashidze.

Early in the morning on Thursday, the plane with Abashidze on board arrived in Moscow’s Vnukovo-2 government airport. It is unknown yet where Abashidze stayed in Moscow – in a hotel or in a mansion he owns.

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili granted Abashidze and his family guarantees of immunity.