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Tbilisi reporting foreign businesses in Abkhazia to Interpol

By M. Alkhazashvili
(Translated by Diana Dundua)
Friday, May 2
Tbilisi will report foreign businessmen operating in the breakaway region of Abkhazia to Interpol, State Minister for Reintegration Issues Temur Iakobashvili announced last week.

“We will study the companies operating in the conflict region, give evidence to Interpol, and they [the companies] will encounter serious problems. At the same time we ask our neighboring states to freeze their accounts,” the newspaper Sakartvelos Respublika quoted Iakobashvili as saying on April 26.

Paata Davitaia, leader of We Ourselves, an Abkhazia-issues group which is part of the nine-party opposition coalition, told the newspaper Rezonansi that if the government fulfills its pledge, “we will see serious results in two to three months.”

In March, Russia backed out of a Commonwealth of Independent States treaty that imposed sanctions on Abkhazia, and last month President Vladimir Putin instructed his government to increase ties with the separatists.

Abkhazia officials say they are expecting serious Russian investment in the region in the run-up to Sochi Winter Olympic Games, particularly in the construction sector.

The Georgian government says foreign businesses operating without Tbilisi’s permission in separatist Abkhazia, which is de jure Georgian territory, break the law.