PM Garibashvili: Agreement with Russia threatens Abkhazians' identity

“I am ready to do everything to save the ethnicity of Abkhazians, one of the ancient and our brotherhood nation." said PM., 17 Oct 2014 - 00:28, Tbilisi,Georgia

"This document contradicts Abkhazians' 25 year struggle for self-determination, recognition and so-called independence,” says Georgia's Prime Minister about a Kremlin proposed new treaty on ‘Alliance and Integration’ with Georgia’s breakaway region Abkhazia.

Irakli Garibashvili made a comment for Georgian media in Batumi this evening at a reception on the US Navy Command ship Mount Whitney, which was docked at the Georgian sea port.

"This draft agreement is deeply concerning for us because I am really worried about the fate and the future of our brothers, Abkhazians, the proud nation. If this document is signed, first of all it will be dangerous and a threat to the identity of Abkhazians."

It contradicts Abkhazians’ 25 year struggle for identity, recognition and so-called independence,” stated the PM, who noted he did not want to believe that this agreement was the goal for all Abkhazian people.

"I am ready to do everything to preserve the ethnicity of one of the ancient and our brotherhood nation. As we know there are different opinions and critical voices in Abkhazia against this treaty, in the Abkhazian Parliament for example,” stressed the PM.

At the reception he announced his new "exclusive” initiative for Abkhazia but gave no additional details to media. He promised to sound it publicly after his idea was discussed at the Security Council meeting. 

"I think a lot about their future and fate as they are our brothers,” he said.

Georgia's Prime Minister also underlined the development of Georgia-Russia relations over the past two years.

"Our Government did everything to deescalate the tense situation and to normalise relations with Russia. We have started direct dialogue, as it was directly recommended and advised by the international community. We managed it, normalised trade and economic relations and as a result, exports to Russia from Georgia increased by 547 percent. We did everything to show that we are pragmatic, constructive and a stable Government. Despite our attempts, it did not affect the political situation.”

Garibashvili said that he had a short phone conversation with his special envoy for relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze, who held a meeting today with Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin in Prague.

"The Russian side confirmed at the beginning of the discussion of its plan to establish a treaty with Abkhazia but still there are no deadlines and I am extremely interested what the final official position of the Russian government will be,” stressed the Prime Minister. He hoped Russia would not reply to "our constructive and pragmatic politics” by signing the treaty on ‘Alliance and Integration’ with Georgia’s breakaway region.

The Georgian Government will discuss the Kremlin proposed Russia-Abkhazia treaty on the border meeting of the Security Council this Saturday, October 18.