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Putin Receives 94 percent of votes in Georgia’s Occupied Abkhazia Region

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, March 20
Vladimir Putin, who once again won Russia’s presidential elections, has received 94, 1 percent of votes in Georgia’s occupied region of Abkhazia.

So-called Russian ambassador in Abkhazia Semion Grigoriev stated about the figure.

“He received 20 percent more votes in Abkhazia than in Russia, candidate of the Communist Party Pavel Grudinin is the second with 2,46 percent of votes, while Vladimir Zhirinovsky of the Liberal-Democratic party took the third place with 1,56% of votes,” he announced.

The Georgian Foreign Minister has condemned the opening of 33 polling stations in the Russian occupied regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali for the Russian presidential race.

“This is yet another clear example of occupation of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali and an illegal step towards annexation”, the ministry said.

The ministry said those living in the regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali were given Russian passports illegally in 2000s, while due to ethnic cleansing, hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees still lack the right to return to their original homes.

“With these steps the Russian Federation fully violates the United Nations (UN) charter, the Helsinki Final Act and rudely violates the fundamental norms and principles of international law such as sovereignty, territorial integrity, inviolability of internationally recognized borders and interference in domestic affairs”, the ministry said.

Calling for the international community to condemn Russia’s illegal steps in Georgian occupied regions, the foreign ministry believes Russia undermines international order.

The United States Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly said it is unlawful to carry out any activities in the Russian occupied regions of Georgia – Abkhazia and Tskhinvali without the consent of the Government of Georgia.

Kelly said the US does not recognize Russian authority over Abkhazia and Tskhinvali and consider the two breakaway regions parts of Georgia.

Russian presidential elections took place yesterday.

Putin got more than 76% of the vote, official results read.

He said he was considering changes to his government, including the post of prime minister.

Former President Dmitry Medvedev has held the post since he changed places in 2012 with Putin, who has ruled the country as either president or prime minister since 1999, BBC reported.

The main opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, was barred from the race.