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Explanations demanded on alleged restoration of Abkhaz railway

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, February 28
The United National Movement (UNM) and Movement for Freedom-European Georgia opposition parties say that after the official visit of the Armenian Prime Minister, Karen Karapetyan, last week, there was information spread about the restoration of the railway sector, linking Armenia and Russia via Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia.

UNM member Nika Rurua says that the suspicions became grounded after the information was confirmed by Armenian and Russian media.

“Restoration of the Abkhazian railway is inadmissible. It will exclude return of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their homes and maintenance of non-recognition policy and preserving of our sovereignty,” he stressed.

Rurua believes that besides political damage, this step would have negative impact on Georgian economy as well.

“This step will harm our economic situation, as it will weaken the turnover in Poti Port and deteriorate our relationship with Azerbaijan,” he added.

The UNM position is shared by the European Georgia party too. Sergi Kapanadze, a member of the party, believes that the government should make explanations over the issue.

“The information was spread by Armenian and Russian media. We have no mechanisms to verify the information, so the Georgian government should make explanations. They have made many anti-state steps recently,” Kapanadze says.

Georgia’s Vice-Premier and Energy Minister, Kakha Kaladze, says the spread information is not true.

The minister assures that during Karapetyan’s visit the issue was not on the agenda.

“The opposition tells many lies. This concrete project has never been discussed in the government,” he added.

The Sputnik-Armenia News agency reported on February 24 that the Armenian Prime Minister agreed with his Georgian counterpart on an alternative to the Upper Lars checkpoint.