Russia-Abkhazia treaty: “Step towards annexation of Georgian region”

  • Enguri bridge connects Georgia with its breakaway region of Abkhazia., 22 Nov 2014 - 21:31, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia's Foreign Ministry has condemned the Russian government’s decision to endorse the signing of the latest draft of a new treaty with breakaway Abkhazia.

The Ministry issued a special statement saying this Russian step was "yet another aggressive move against Georgia”.

"Despite the many constructive steps taken by the Georgian authorities, no progress in political aspects has been achieved with Russia,” the statement read.

"Statements made periodically by representatives of the Russian authorities about willingness to normalise relations with Georgia are clearly in conflict with their actual steps.”

The Ministry said Georgia would never tolerate an infringement of its territorial integrity and it was not going to make any compromise regarding this issue.

It also called on the international community to give a "proper assessment to this step taken by the Russian Federation towards annexation of Georgia’s occupied territories” and to use all tools at its disposal to persuade Russia from making "yet another aggressive move against Georgia”.

The Foreign Ministry said this issue was high on the agenda of Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili’s recent talks with European Union and NATO officials in Brussels, as well as during Foreign Minister Tamar Beruchashvili’s recent meetings in London and Prague.

The Foreign Ministry said it would convey its concerns about the issue to Tbilisi-based foreign diplomats at a meeting next week. In addition the Georgian diplomats would also raise it at upcoming NATO and OSCE foreign ministerial meetings.

On November 20, de-facto cabinet ministers of Georgia's breakaway Abkhazia region approved the bilateral treaty and recommended the document should undergo a final signing by so-called President of Abkhazia Raul Khajimba.

The cabinet endorsed the revised version of the treaty and changed the name of the document from ‘Agreement on Alliance and Integration’ to ‘Agreement on Alliance and Strategic Partnership’.

Like in the Russian draft, one of the main issues about the creation of a "common defence and security space” remained in the Abkhaz version among "key directions” of this "alliance and strategic partnership”.

In October, Khajimba announced the bilateral agreement would be signed by the end of this year. He believed the treaty would enhance the region’s cooperation with Moscow.