Special Protective Service
The Government of Georgia places special emphasis on ensuring that the oil pipelines and other vital economic assets in the country remain secure. Primary responsibility for protecting the pipeline rests with the President's Special Protective Service, but the armed forces play a certain role as well. In April of 1999 Georgia hosted a multinational military exercise in which its forces trained with units from Azerbaijan and Ukraine in tactics and techniques for defending the oil pipeline.
The natural gas pipeline to Armenia was a frequent target of terrorist bombs in 1993, and several government figures apparently were the targets of unsuccessful bomb attacks. The Mkhedrioni, who often were involved in criminal activity, usually escaped police control because the minister of internal affairs was a Mkhedrioni member. In September, Shevardnadze took personal control of the ministry to bolster police authority.
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