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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Primakov Takes Peace Mission to Caucasus

TBILISI, Georgia -- Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov met Saturday with Georgian leader Eduard Shevardnadze, pledging to put Moscow's efforts to resolving the conflict between Georgia and its breakaway region of Abkhazia.


Russia, Primakov said, will do "everything" in its power to resolve the protracted conflict.


Georgia lost Abkhazia, a rich Black Sea coastal province, to separatists in 1993 after 13 months of bitter fighting. More than 250,000 Georgians were forced to flee their homes.


Primakov's visit to Tbilisi followed his tour through Armenia, Azerbaijan and the disputed enclave of Nagorny Karabakh, where he tried to broker an elusive peace. In an attempt to mediate an end to the conflict in Nagorny Karabakh, Primakov flew 67 prisoners from the conflict to Baku on Friday.


Primakov had flown to Yerevan from Baku on Wednesday on what he called "direct instructions from President Boris Yeltsin" to make progress toward a political solution. He brought 34 former Armenian prisoners and$one ethnic Russian to Yerevan; in exchange, Armenia and Karabakh Armenian authorities released dozens of their own POWs.


Nagorny Karabakh is inside Azerbaijan but populated mainly by ethnic Armenians, and Armenia supported its war for independence that began in 1988.