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De facto authorities criticise Joe Biden’s statements

By Mzia Kupunia
Wednesday, July 29
“The attempts of the USA to make Georgia a democratic state are predestined for failure,” reads a letter the de facto Abkhazian Foreign Ministry has sent to US Vice President Joseph Biden, who visited Georgia last week. In the letter, dated July 27, the de facto authorities express their concern about the “engaged” statements of Joe Biden, as well as “some historical errors” about Abkhazia he is alleged to have made in his speech.

The de facto Foreign Ministry letter states that Abkhazia’s history goes back 12 centuries and that it was joined to Georgia as an Autonomous Republic by force on Stalin’s initiative. The separatist authorities have told the US Vice President that the Georgian Government’s policy in the first half of the twentieth century was to assimilate Abkhazia. “The mass repression of and discrimination against the Abkhaz people were designed to achieve the total assimilation of Abkhazians with Georgian people,” the letter reads. “The culmination of this policy of destroying the national identity [of Abkhaz] was the Georgian-Abkhazian war of 1992-1993,” it continues.

The de facto Foreign Ministry letter expresses concern that against the background of “unprecedented” financial support from the US “the Georgian Government is continuing its militarisation process and is drawing up plans for a revenge military intrusion into territories which do not belong to Georgia.” The letter criticises the Vice President for not giving his assessment of Georgia’s “military operation” in South Ossetia. The de facto authorities called on international society to pay attention to the fact that “Georgia has not abandoned its aggressive policy in relation to small nations and is carrying on strengthening its military potential.”

“At the moment the USA is using Saakashvili as an instrument to threaten the security of the Caucasus,” the letter suggests, adding that the attempts of the Georgian Government to present Georgia as a victim of Russian aggression and in this way “internationalise” the conflict have “failed”. “The August 2008 events concluded with a crushing of illusions, from political, legal or military points of view, about a quick ‘restoration of territorial integrity’ of Georgia,” the separatist authorities state. The letter also hints at some “separatist mood” in other parts of Georgia. “Even a billion dollars in aid from the US will probably not help to resolve the crisis in the Government, the economic problems or the separatist mood in the regions compactly settled by national minorities, which threaten to start national liberation movements for independence from Tbilisi,” the letter reads.

The de facto Foreign Ministry letter stresses the important geopolitical position which Georgia’s breakaway region is taking in the Caucasus region. “Abkhazia continues to be the focus of attention of Western states, as well as leading international organisations. Despite the official statement of Mr. Biden that the Government of the US will never recognise the independence of Abkhazia, and despite the fact that the international community is stubbornly continuing to be critical about Abkhazia’s future prospects as an independent state, and despite the more than cold attitude of the Europe and the West towards Abkhazia, the interest in our state does not stop,” the letter reads. “Long experience of foreign activities have taught us not only to fight for our own interests but be patient. We believe that international recognition of our state is not so far away, the more so when we consider that in the contemporary world everything changes very fast,” it continues. In conclusion the separatist authorities suggest that the US administration should “never say never”, referring to Vice President Biden’s statement that the United States will never recognise the independence of Georgia’s breakaway regions.

The Georgian side has assessed the letter of the de facto Foreign Ministry as “delirium”. “The Vice President has expressed the US administration’s position very clearly, and it has not left any room for question marks,” Georgia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Nalbandov has told The Messenger. As for the Abkhaz claims about the militarisation of the Georgian Army and Georgian plans for revenge, Nalbandov said the claims are “false” and that the Georgian side is not planning any kind of military “revenge”. “The reports of the EU Monitoring Mission can be cited as proof of this. The reports reiterate that no militarisation is going on in the areas adjacent to the conflict zones,” Nalbandov said.

“Russia is the only state which has recognised the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and it remains isolated in this respect. The international community acknowledges the territorial integrity of Georgia and nothing is changed by statements of the puppet regimes,” the Deputy Foreign Minister said. “The process of restoring Georgia’s territorial integrity is going on and it will end with victory. Of course there are no prescriptions and exact dates of how and when this will happen, but it is obvious that Georgia will be united again,” he added.