If Georgia’s breakaway Abkhazia region and Venezuela sign a visa free travel agreement, this will be a blatant violation of international law, says official Tbilisi.
The de facto leaders of Georgia’s Russian-occupied region met with officials from the South American country and discussed ways to deepen cooperation, including possibly establishing visa free travel.
Georgia’s Foreign Ministry said this bilateral deal was unlawful and unethical.
"In September 2009 following pressure from the Russian side, Venezuela recognised the ‘independence’ of the occupied regions of Georgia, by which it flagrantly violated the fundamental norms of international law, including respect towards Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” read the Ministry’s statement released today.
"Accordingly, any agreement between Caracas and Sokhumi, whether it is opening an ‘Abkhazian Embassy’ in Venezuela, appointing ‘Venezuela’s Ambassador in Abkhazia’, launching ‘visa free travel’ or something else, is illegal from the very beginning and does not bring any legal consequences under international law.”
"It is sad that Venezuela, following Russia’s footsteps, continues flagrant violation of the norms of international law and neglects Georgia’s territorial integrity.”
Several days ago Abkhazia’s de facto Foreign Ministry hosted a delegation from Venezuela where de facto president of breakaway Abkhazia Raul Khajimba met the delegation members. The sides discussed the idea of signing several agreements, including visa free travel and deepening cooperation in the fields of tourism, culture and economy.
Abkhazia is situated in the north-western corner of Georgia. Russia recognised it as an independent state in 2008, immediately after the five-day Russia-Georgia war over Georgia’s other breakaway region, Tskhinvali region (often incorrectly referred to as South Ossetia).
This move of Russia has been assessed numerous times as a "violation of international law” by the global community.