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Ankvab: We are ready to negotiation with Georgia

By Mzia Kupunia
Wednesday, July 27
Abkhazia is ready to negotiate with Georgia without any preconditions, the de facto acting president of Georgia’s breakaway region and a “presidential” candidate in the upcoming snap elections, Alexander Ankvab said. In an interview to a Russian RBK-TV channel Ankvab said that Abkhazians are not going to live in “eternal rivalry” with anyone.

In his interview Ankvab pointed out that currently there are all needed conditions for Abkhazia to be regarded as a “full scale independent state.” “There are problems in terms of recognizing Abkhazia as an independent state on the international arena,” he said, adding however, that the attitude of international society might change by the time. According to RBK-TV Ankvab called on not to compare Abkhazia with other states which have gained international recognition recently, with Kosovo and South Sudan in particular, pointing to an “originality of the historical development of each country.”

“Whatever happened to the Abkhaz nation was moving forward for years. We treat this act very carefully and are going to meet the obligations that we have pledged,” Ankvab said when talking about the “act of independence” of Abkhazia, adding that during a conflict of 1990-ies “maintaining the Abkhaz ethnicity” was at stake. “Russia made an absolutely well-thought and brave step by standing by the side of a young state,” the de facto acting President said.

When speaking about the current issues in the breakaway region, Ankvab said that he considers economic issues more important currently than political issues. According to RBK-TV Ankvab said that even the upcoming elections is not a “serious problem” for him. “I do not see any problem, this is a choice of every person. I am deeply convinced that after elections our relations will stay the same. Elections is not a reason to spoil relations with friends,” Ankvab noted, pointing out that coping with economic problems is “harder.” He named developing agriculture sector. “Another issue is raising salaries. My salary is about 8 plus thousand Roubles. Now you can imagine what an income of the socially unsecure population is,” he said.

Among other important for Abkhazia subjects Ankvab named ensuring insurance, including of the tourists. “We know what the feedback from the tourists is. We are aware that not everything here is perfect,” he noted, adding that the law enforcers are “making all efforts” to improve the situation.

Meanwhile the so called ruling party United Abkhazia has declared that it will support Ankvab as a “presidential” candidate. According to the Chairman of the party, Daur Tarba, the party members know Ankvab well as a “statesman and politician, who has been putting all his efforts, knowledge and experience for strengthening Abkhazian statehood.”

Tbilisi considers the elections in Abkhazia as illegal. Speaking to journalists last week, Georgia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Nino Kalandadze said Tbilisi has “no special expectations” about the so called elections in Abkhazia. “Considering the fact that the elections being held violate Georgian legislation, this election is illegitimate, all the results of it will be illegitimate,” Kalandadze noted “This election is held in conditions of occupation, with the supervision of occupant regimes and most of the Abkhazian population has no chance to participate in it. Thus, all components which can be linked with the legitimacy of the elections are violated in this case and we have no expectations that in this situation any positive results might arise.”