The President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, claims that Russia is trying to legalize the presence of its troops in the territory of Georgia’s western region of Abkhazia.
Russia tries to legalize its troops in Georgia
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, October 20
President Giorgi Margvelashvili stated this in response to last week’s ratification of an agreement by Russia’s parliamentary committee on the military cooperation with Abkhazia.
The deal between Russia and the de-facto independent Abkhazian authorities envisaged the creation of a joint division of armed forces.
The deal stressed that the group would contain Russian troops deployed in occupied Abkhazia, two Abkhazian motorized infantry units, as well as artillery, aviation groups and special forces units. The group would be led by a representative of the Russian military base.
Margvelashvili condemned the agreement and urged the international community “to immediately react”.
“The President condemns this agreement and deems it another step towards the annexation of Georgia's territory, which is as a threat not only to Georgia's sovereignty, but also to regional peace and stability.
“The President calls on the international community to respond to this illegal agreement," the President’s Press Speaker Eka Mishveladze stated.
Currently, only four countries recognise Abkhazia and Georgia's other breakaway region, Tskhinvali (South Ossetia), as independent republics.
Russia and Nicaragua recognised Abkhazia and Tskhinvali as independent units in 2008 in the wake of the Russia-Georgia war. In 2009, Venezuela, Nauru and Tuvalu took the same step, but after several years Vanuatu reversed its stance.
The rest of the international community stresses that the regions are integral parts of Georgia, and Russia continues to violate international law through its military presence there.
Meanwhile, Russia says it is a “peacekeeper” in the region, protecting the local population from Georgia.