( Civil ) - The decision by the CIS Council of Defense Ministers to re-endorse the commission of Sergey Chaban, the commander of Russian peacekeepers in Georgia, was illegal, Gela Bezhuashvili, the Georgian foreign minister, said on November 27.
"From the legal point of view this decision has no effect, because, firstly, Georgia is not part of this Council, and secondly, this Council doesn't have the authority to make such a decision," Bezhuashvili said at a joint press conference with his Slovak counterpart, Jan Kubis, in Tbilisi. "This is just another attempt to mislead the international community."
He said that at the next meeting of CIS foreign ministers, Georgia would reiterate its opposition to Chaban remaining at his post. "He is unacceptable to Georgia."
After the Ganmukhuri incident on October 30 then President Mikheil Saakashvili called Chaban an "undesirable person" and demanded that he leave the country immediately.
Anatoli Serdyukov, the Russian defense minister, however, said that because the Russian peacekeepers were "working well and coping with their duties", the CIS Council of Defense Minister had made the decision. He did, however, indicate that Chaban would be replaced "in the near future" because of Georgia's "special position."