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Parliament adopts a statement on Russian aggression

By Mzia Kupunia
Wednesday, December 16
The Georgian Parliament adopted a special statement on December 15 protesting against Russia’s “aggressive actions” against Georgia. This will be sent to number of international organisations and states, MPs say.

The document accuses the Russian Federation of violating international norms and the August 12, 2008 6-point ceasefire agreement by "frequent kidnappings of people from the villages adjacent to the occupied territories, building walls and wires between Georgia and its breakaway regions, deploying Russian Special Forces at the administrative borders and introducing Russia border boats on the Abkhazian coastline.”

Georgian lawmakers claim that through such actions Russia is trying to deepen the annexation of Georgia’s occupied territories and legitimise the “ethnic cleansing” of Georgians it carried out in August 2008, as well as strengthening its political and military pressure on Georgia. “These actions carry a serious threat for the people of Georgian and Abkhaz origin living in the occupied territories. Re-escalation of the conflict could endanger the security of not only Georgia but the whole of Europe,” the statement reads.

MPs called on the international community to “strengthen political and diplomatic pressure on Russia”, continue its non-recognition policy towards Abkhazia and South Ossetia and assess the “Presidential elections” in Abkhazia as “illegitimate.” The Georgian Parliament has also urged the international community to take active steps to deploy international police forces in Georgia’s occupied territories.

By making this statement Georgia stresses that the so-called elections in de facto Abkhazia were an attempt to legitimise the aggression which took place there, Georgian lawmakers have said. “This is a very dangerous tendency and it is necessary to react to it very strictly in order to prevent such problems repeating in other parts of the world,” MP from the ruling National Movement Akaki Minashvili said, adding that the statement also demands the “urgent withdrawal” of the Russian armed forces from Georgia’s territory.

Vice Speaker of Parliament Mikheil Machavariani has also assessed the “elections” in Abkhazia as “illegal”. “We cannot talk about any elections when most of the local population, 300,000 people, have been displaced and ethnic cleansing has taken place. This was the most cynical election campaign since Russia recognised Abkhazia as independent. The time has come for international organisations to make clear statements on this issue,” Machavariani said.

The de facto Republic of Abkhazia and Nauru, a small island nation in the South Pacific, signed an agreement to establish “diplomatic relations” on Tuesday. The de facto Abkhazian President, Sergey Bagapsh, stated that it does not matter how many people live in a country with which Abkhazia enters “diplomatic relations”.

“Nauru is a UN member state,” he said. “Signing an agreement on diplomatic ties practically means recognition,” the de facto President stated after the signing ceremony in Sokhumi.

Analyst Malkhaz Chemia has said that the diplomatic agreement between de facto Abkhazia and the Republic of Nauru is merely “self-deception” by the Abkhaz authorities. “They know very well that this recognition means nothing and the political establishment in Abkhazia knows that they are the hostages of Russia and nothing else,” Chemia told The Messenger.