Yeltsin signs Georgia treaty

Against the advice of his bodyguards, and risking a row with the Russian parliament, Boris Yeltsin flew to Tbilisi yesterday and signed a friendship treaty with Eduard Shevardnadze, Georgia's leader, writes Helen Womack in Moscow.

Under the treaty, Moscow will help Georgia to develop a national army in exchange for being allowed to keep its military bases in the republic. Mr Yeltsin must now face the wrath of the State Duma, which made clear it opposed the agreement on the grounds that it would destabilise the Trans-Caucasus region and drag Russia into ethnic conflict.

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