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MFA Issues Response to Abkhazia's Occupation Regime Approving the Transfer of Bichvinta Country Houses to Russia

By Liza Mchedlidze
Thursday, December 28, 2023
On December 27, despite ongoing protests from Abkhaz 'citizens', the de facto parliament of Abkhazia decided to transfer the Bichvinta state cottages to Russia.

According to the 'agreement', 186 hectares of land and 115 hectares of sea space will be transferred to the ownership of the Russian Federation. All buildings and structures will become the property of the Federal Protection Service, and the Black Sea water area, along with the surrounding lands, will be leased to Russia for 49 years. Due to opposition from part of Abkhazia's population, it took over a year to 'ratify' the agreement for the transfer of the Bichvinta territory to Russia.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia has expressed concern and addressed the issue of the transfer of Bichvinta government cottages to Russia by the occupation regime of Abkhazia.

According to the ministry, the ratification of the 'agreement' by the 'Parliament' for the transfer of the Bichvinta cottages to Russia constitutes another illegal act and represents a continuation of Russia's policy of occupying the indivisible regions of Georgia, which grossly violates the fundamental principles of international law.

The Foreign Ministry emphasized that, from an international legal standpoint, any such so-called 'agreement' holds no legal force and is not considered legally binding. Accordingly, the Ministry pointed out that the 'agreement' signed regarding the transfer of territory under the conditions of Abkhazia's occupation cannot have any legal effect.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia appeals to the international community to properly assess yet another illegal step by the Russian Federation, which aims to encroach on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs calls on the Russian Federation to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia and to fulfill its international obligations, including the ceasefire agreement of August 12, 2008, as brokered by the European Union," the statement reads.

President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili responded to the transfer of Bichvinta government cottages to Russia and called on the international community for an urgent reaction.

"Strongly condemn another land grab by Russians in Georgian territories & their creeping annexation policies. The strong popular reaction we see around the #Bichvinta transfer is a direct result of continued occupation. I call on the Int. community for a strong and urgent reaction," Zourabichvili wrote on X.