TBILISI, Georgia, Nov. 25 (UPI) # Just two days after Georgian opposition leaders overthrew Eduard Shevardnadze, a separatist threat has emerged from a southern region.
Coupled with the separatist threat from Adjara was a warning from Russia to respect the region’s autonomy, London’s Financial Times said Tuesday.
The Russian warning came as Adjaran leader Aslan Abishidze declared a state of emergency and said he was closing the border between his region and the rest of Georgia.
Adjarans are ethnic Georgians, but unlike the majority who are Orthodox Christians, Adjarans practice a moderate version of Islam.
Nonetheless, the new authority in Tbilisi received messages of support from Washington and Brussels backing acting President Nino Burdzhanadze. Oil companies planning multi-billion dollar pipelines through Georgia expressed confidence their projects would not be affected by the turmoil.