Until the final moment on August 8, Putin’s administration did not confirm the information on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Georgia’s western occupied Abkhazia region on the ninth anniversary of the Russia-Georgia war, causing some controversy in the media earlier during the day.
Putin’s trip to occupied Abkhazia
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, Auugust 10
Later, the Sputnik agency reported that a working meeting between Abkhazia’s de-facto President Raul Khajimba and Vladimir Putin was held in Bichvinta on Tuesday.
The meeting was behind closed doors.
In a statement made after the meeting, Putin said Russia and Abkhazia enjoyed a “special relationship”.
“We are a reliable guarantee for Abkhazia’s security and independence and this will continue in the future,” Putin said.
On the same day, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev wrote on his official Facebook page that Russia is “always ready” to protect “its people”.
He said Russia “was forced” to carry out a military operation in Tskhinvali in 2008 to protect its people.
Before his meeting with Putin, Khajimba held a telephone conversation with Anatoly Bibilov, the de facto president of Georgia’s other occupied South Ossetia (Tskhinvali) region.
Through the information posted on the website of the de facto president of Abkhazia, they apparently talked about the ninth anniversary of the August war.
“Russia’s political leadership made a bold decision and prevented the destruction of South Ossetia,” Khajimba said.
Georgia’s top officials have already condemned Putin’s visit to Abkhazia on Tuesday and stressed the step was a “provocation” and an attempt to “legalize occupation” of 20 percent of Georgia’s historic land.
The International Criminal Court is now investigating the war.
Georgia is actively cooperating with the investigators, but Russia refused, stressing the war was initiated by Georgia.
Russia and Nicaragua recognised Abkhazia’s and Tskhinvali’s independence in 2008 in the wake of the Russia-Georgia war.
In 2009 Venezuela, Vanuatu, Nauru and Tuvalu took the same step.
After several years, Vanuatu and Tuvalu revoked their recognition and now declare Abkhazia and Tskhinvali are integral parts of Georgia.
The rest of the international community asserts that the two regions are integral parts of Georgia.