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Tbilisi slams the decision of the so called Abkhazian-Russian commission

By Mzia Kupunia
Friday, January 14
The decision of the Russian-Abkhazian commission not to discuss the applications related to property disputes in Abkhazia filed by the ethnic Georgian citizens of Russia is “fascism”, Georgian Minister of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday. He said the commission consists of “two criminal gangs which are now dividing the looted property”.

This decision indicates, once again, that Russia is not going to fulfill its commitments, including the norms envisaged by the human rights charter, Vashadze told journalists. “We all know very well that no matter what kind of virtual reality they create, no matter what kind of criminal bands they establish, no matter what name they give to this criminal band, de occupation of Tskhinvali region and Abkhazia is inevitable,” the Minister noted.

Vashadze’s critical comments followed the decision of the Russian-Abkhazian commission, which deals with the property debates, not to discuss the applications filed by ethnic Georgian citizens of Russia. De facto Abkhazian leader, Sergey Baghapsh said Georgia should pay USD 13 billion to Abkhazia in compensation and only after this would the Abkhazian side pay compensation to the IDPs from Abkhazia. However the de facto President said the issue of returning their properties to IDPs will not be discussed.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also commented on the issue, saying that “Russia defends the rights of its citizens, including the ethnic Georgians, equally.” Lavrov said that the Russian-Abkhazian Commission has already discussed more than ten applications and has satisfied some of them. “All legal claims will be satisfied. We do not divide our citizens according to their ethnic belonging. Probably some time is needed to heal the wounds. However the main thing is that we equally defend the interests of all our citizens, despite their ethnicity,” Lavrov stated.

However, the Georgian officials have downplayed Lavrov’s statements, saying that the decision of the Russian-Abkhazian commission is “merely a farce.” “Such statements and decisions are a continuation of ethnic cleansing policy,” Minister for Reintegration, Eka Tkeshelashvili said “the decision of the so called commission is illegitimate. The Russian Federation is a participant of the ethnic cleansing policy. Whatever they are saying in Russia on this issue is simply a farce. This commission is illegitimate too and the decisions taken by the commission also lacks any legal grounds. It does not matter for us in terms of legitimacy what kind of decision they make,” the Minister noted.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry has described the decision of the commission as “discriminative.” “Such an attitude once more indicates the fact that the policy conducted by Russia towards Georgia and ethnic Georgians contradicts with the standards of international justice and human rights and is nothing but an ethnic persecution,” the statement of the MFA reads “The International community supports the unconditional and honorable return of the IDPs from Abkhazia, Georgia and Tskhinvali region, Georgia, this has been indicated in a number of resolutions and decisions in the frames of the UN. Against this background, the activities of the so called commission on Georgia’s occupied territory should be classed as the division of looted property between two criminal-fascist bands,” it continued.