EU Ambassador: reports of Moscow’s alleged plans for base in occupied Abkhazia “extremely worrying”

The Georgian foreign office on Thursday said it was “concerned” by Moscow’s plans to deploy the base. Photo: EU Delegation to Georgia, 06 Oct 2023 - 13:06, Tbilisi,Georgia

Paweł Herczyński, the Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia, on Friday said media reports about alleged plans for a Russian naval military base in Georgia’s Russian-occupied region of Abkhazia were “extremely worrying”.

Aslan Bzhania, the de facto President of the Abkhazia region, on Thursday told the Russian media he had signed a “new agreement” with the Kremlin over the deployment of the permanent naval base in the city of Ochamchire in the “near future”. 

We [the European Union] support the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia. The report of another possible Russian base in the separatist and occupied region of Abkhazia is certainly extremely worrying”, Herczyński said.

“This would be a clear violation of Russia's commitment under the 2008 six-point plan that we, the European Union, negotiated. So, obviously, this is a very unwelcome and disturbing development”, the EU diplomat noted.

The Georgian foreign office on Thursday said it was “concerned” by Moscow’s plans to deploy the base. 

The Ministry called on Russia to act “in accordance with international obligations” and the ceasefire agreement signed with Tbilisi following the 2008 conflict between the countries and withdraw its troops from the Georgian occupied regions. 

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Thursday called Russia’s plans a “continuation” of the occupation.

Garibashvili told the media he had told an “important” roundtable format discussion on the sidelines of the ongoing European Political Community Summit in Granada Moscow’s reported plans were seen by the Georgian side as an “illegal decision”.