Abkhazia: Russian Duma Calls for Recognition
Below is an article published by The Messenger:
A "big mistake" that will bring
With 423 votes to zero for Abkhazia and 418 to zero for South Ossetia the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, passed two statements on 6 December regarding the two breakaway regions "on the appeal of the People's Assembly of the Republic of Abkhazia to the Russian President and Federal Assembly on the recognition of the Republic of Abkhazia to establish associated relations between Abkhazia and Russia" and "on the results of the referendum in South Ossetia on the issue of granting it independence and the results of the election of president of South Ossetia on November 12, 2006."
Georgian authorities point out that the Duma's statements are not legally binding for the Russian authorities, but the unanimity in the Duma over these issues clearly demonstrates the stance of the Russian political establishment regarding Abkhazia and
"It is obvious that the Duma's decision was sponsored and instructed by the Kremlin and the Russian government is preparing the ground for the recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia," chair of parliamentary Defence and Security Committee, MP Givi Targamadze said, adding "I can say directly that the recognition of these regions by the Russian executive authorities will be equal to a declaration of war against Georgia," which would bring Russia "disastrous results".
Prior to the discussion at the State Duma, speaker of the Georgian parliament Nino Burjanadze called on Duma members' to refrain from endorsing such an "uncivilized and undemocratic" decision, that would inevitably put executive government in an uneasy situation and compel it to make explanations for an international community.
Russian news agency Itar-tass writes that Russian MPs believe that "our country should make its policy while taking into account the free expression of will of the people of
"The referendum on independence in South Ossetia, its unequivocal results are also a direct consequence of the policy by Georgian authorities," head of the Duma Committee on CIS Affairs and Russian Diaspora Relations, Andrei Kokoshin stated Itar-tass reports.
The statement on Abkhazia accuses the Georgian authorities of purposefully stirring tensions and says that
Responding to the Duma's actions, a group of Georgian lawmakers passed a statement calling on the international community to express its concern regarding the Russian Duma's decision and stand by
"The Russian Duma's statements could not be assessed in a way other than the extremely unfriendly political gesture towards
Abkhaz rally for independence
Parallel to the discussions at the State Duma on December 6 up to 40 000 people rallied in Freedom Square in Abkhazia's capital Sokhumi for what was called 'a national gathering' to show the Abkhaz society's unity in its aspirations for independence.
"We are stating an objective reality: Abkhazia and Georgia cannot exist within the borders of a single country," de facto Abkhaz president Sergei Bagapsh declared at the meeting, RIA. Novosti reported.
Bagapsh expressed his concerns over
"We cannot count on a fair and objective resolution of the conflict under such conditions," he said, noting "It is quite obvious that such military support for
"Our people know from bitter experience that
Bagapsh also praised assistance in resolving the conflict provided by
People at the 'national gathering' adopted a statement, in which they appealed for international recognition of Abkhazia's independence.
"We call on