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Russia’s Foreign Minister visits separatist Abkhazia

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, April 19
Georgia’s Foreign Ministry (MFA) says the visit of Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, to Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia scheduled for April 18-19, represents a continuation of Moscow’s provocative policies against the Georgian state.

The MFA reports that in parallel with meetings with representatives of the occupation regime, Lavrov will participate in the opening ceremony of building of the Russian embassy in the occupied region.

“The ‘visit’ of the Russian Foreign Minister to the occupied Abkhazia region in violation of the Georgian state border, and the opening of a new official building of the illegal diplomatic representation of the Russian Federation, blatantly violates the principle of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of a state within its internationally recognized borders and other fundamental norms of international law,” the Georgian MFA stated.

Officials in Tbilisi says that Lavrov’s so-called working visit is a continuation of Moscow’s provocative policies against Georgia.

“This aims at legitimizing the forceful change of borders of a sovereign state through ethnic cleansing and military occupation. With this kind of illegal act, the Russian Federation attempts in vain to legitimize the occupation regimes,” the statement of the Georgian MFA reads.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia calls upon the Russian Federation to cease the practice of provocative actions, respect the territorial integrity of a sovereign state and implement its international obligations including the 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement.

Russia’s state-led news agency, Tass, reports that on April 19, Russia's Lavrov will hold talks with “Abkhazia's President Raul Khadzhimba, Parliament Speaker Valery Kvarchiya and his counterpart, the republic's top envoy, Daur Kove.”

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said that Lavrov will also attend the ceremony of the of opening a new Russian embassy compound.

The Russian Ambassador to Abkhazia, Semyon Grigoryev, told Tass that construction of the compound began in 2013.

"On the basis of a government resolution, a land plot for building the embassy was allotted in October 2008,” Semyon Grigoryev told the Russian news agency.

The Russian Federation recognized the independence of Georgia’s separatist regions - Abkhazia and South Ossetia - after the August 2008 war, which left 20 percent of Georgia’s territories occupied.