Tbilisi concerned by tension in Abkhazia

Georgian Officials discussed the Abkhazian issue at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tbilisi today. Photo by N. Alavidze
Agenda.ge, 28 May 2014 - 15:18, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian authorities are discussing what they need to do to help resolve the tense situation in Abkhazia, one of Georgia’s occupied territories.

Abkhazia’s legitimate Government, who are in exile in Tbilisi, met Georgian Governmental officials today and provided them with information about the current situation in the breakaway region.

Acting chair of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia, Vakhtang Kolbaia, said the opposition were trying to force themselves into power, and had a pro-Russian perspective.

Opposition groups in Abkhazia stormed the presidential building overnight following a protest by thousands of people, which forced the de-facto President Alexander Ankvab to flee from the capital city, Sukhumi.

After today’s meeting at Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kolbaia said the opposition protest in Abkhazia had been primarily caused by the difficult social situation in the region but it was obvious there were some "external influences” too.

"Of course there are some influences and we cannot deny this but Abkhazia has people that will handle their problem on their own,” Kolbaia said.

He noted President Ankvab still maintained control over the situation.

"He [Ankvab] plans to change some officials but these staff changes will not be as "bloody” as the opposition expects,” Kolbaia believed.

Georgian political experts believed the situation in Abkhazia would remain only as an internal conflict and would not extend beyond the so-called border.

"Russia, of course, does not want another Maidan [referring to Ukraine] on its own-controlled territory so I do not think it will try to escalate the situation,” said political expert Mamuka Areshidze.

He suggested the de-facto Abkhazian President would maintain his post while a new Cabinet would be formed.

"They will always be confronted and this will have a negative economic effect on such a poor region as Abkhazia.”

Abkhazia, which is one of Georgia’s occupied regions, calls itself an independent state. Its status is recognised by four countries; Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Nauru.

The Georgian Government and majority of international governments consider Abkhazia a part of Georgian territory although Georgia is not currently in control of it.