Yeltsin intervenes over Abkhazia

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MOSCOW - President Boris Yeltsin held separate talks with the Georgian President, Eduard Shevardnadze, and the Abkhazian leader, Vladislav Ardzinba, on the return of Georgian refugees to Abkhazia. The expected three-way discussions did not take place.

Abkhazia broke away from Georgia, a former Soviet republic, in a civil war that ended last autumn. Ethnic Georgians had been the majority before the war, but as many as 350,000 fled. Russia has sent troops to Abkhazia to oversee the return of refugees. When Moscow said last week that refugees would begin returning, Abkhazia balked. Its army went on combat alert and thousands of troops streamed towards the border. AP