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Abkhazia against UNOMIG

By Temuri Kiguradze
Friday, February 6
Abkhazian de facto Foreign Minister Sergey Shamba has stated on February 4 that the Georgian breakaway region will not continue to cooperate with the UN mission in Georgia unless its title is changed.

Georgian politicians have expressed their worry that Russia may block the extension of the UN mission in Georgia, as it did that of the OSCE observers. The UN mission’s mandate expires on February 15.

“If our proposals are accepted, the activities of the UN Mission in Abkhazia will continue. If they try to impose on us some projects which are against our interests we will simply not accept them, and accordingly, there will be no mission here and no prolongation of their mandate,” Apsnypress news agency quoted Shamba as saying.

Abkhazian de facto Deputy Foreign Minister Maxim Gvinjia has stated that Abkhazia will not insist on the mission using the title “UN mission in Abkhazia.” “Any compromise will be acceptable for us. The main thing now is to get rid of the connection of this mission with Georgia only,” Gvinjia told The Messenger on February 5. He also underlined that the continuation of the mission is very important due to the great authority the UN has in the international community. “However we’re talking only about the UN mission, which has gained trust in Abkhazia,” said Gvinjia.

The Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has published a special statement concerning international organizations’ activities in Georgia’s breakaway regions. “The Georgian side reaffirms its unequivocal support for the continuation of the missions of international organizations in Georgia and is pursuing intensive negotiations on this issue with its partners. However, the process of negotiations is proceeding with difficulty due to the destructive position of the Russian side, which is doing all in its power to restrict the activity of international organizations, in particular those on the occupied territories of Georgia.

“The Georgian side emphasizes that the Russian side has recently activated attempts to legitimize its Sokhumi and Tskhinvali proxy regimes in the international arena. It underlines that any such attempt is doomed to failure from the very start, given that the international community unequivocally recognizes Georgia’s sovereignty and integrity and considers as totally unacceptable any action infringing upon the norms and principles of international law,” says the statement published on February 4.