Indira BARTSITS (Abkhazia)
Abkhazia’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Shamba, has expressed anger over the decision PACE made during its spring session to reaffirm its previous resolution on the situation in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
The spring session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) took place in Strasbourg from April 26-30.
The Foreign Minister’s statement, which was released on Thursday, reads as follows: “Previous PACE resolutions were biased in nature in that they absolved Georgia of guilt for provoking tensions in the region and starting the conflict in South Ossetia and Abkhazia; the resolutions cannot be viewed as an objective approach to solving the existing problems.”
Shamba believes that PACE has once again demonstrated its lack of constructive ideas for resolving the conflicts between Georgia and South Ossetia, and between Georgia and Abkhazia.
The Abkhazian Foreign Ministry believes that by supporting Georgia’s territorial integrity, which existed only during Soviet times, PACE is also supporting Stalin’s February 19, 1931 decision that subordinated Abkhazia to Georgia as an autonomous republic.
The statement goes on to say, “PACE has approached Russia with a request to expand the mandate of the EU’s monitoring mission in Abkhazia, thereby demonstrating its refusal to discuss Abkhazia’s domestic issues with Abkhazia’s leadership directly. Despite the fact that Abkhazia is a recognized, sovereign state, PACE continues to insist that the European Monitoring Mission remain in Abkhazia.”
Shamba said that the EU observers have no legal basis for their presence in the Republic. According to the statement’s authors, the EU’s monitoring mission, which is based in Georgia, “has done nothing to promote security while continuing to ignore Georgia’s actions aimed at militarization and re-escalation of the conflict.” Shamba’s statement also complains that PACE is calling for the immediate return of all Georgian refugees to Abkhazia and ignoring Georgia’s obstruction of the verification/registration process for all refugees of the Georgia-Abkhazia conflict.
The Foreign Minister is also indignant that, in expressing concern over the continuing tensions along Abkhazia’s borders and the situation of the people living in the border areas, PACE takes no note of the improved security situation in the wake of measures taken to strengthen the border between Abkhazia and Georgia.
In late August 2008 Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the other former Georgian autonomous republic. In response, Tbilisi broke off diplomatic relations with Moscow and declared the two South Caucasus republics to be occupied territories. Nicaragua, Venezuela and Nauru have followed Moscow in recognizing Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Source: New Eastern Outlook