Is Abkhazia Future to Be Part of Russia?

The Abkhazian authorities connect the future of their republic with Russia. The head of the Abkhazian government, Gennady Gagulia, said this at a news conference in Moscow on Wednesday.

Answering the question whether Abkhazia intended to become an associated subject of the Russian Federation, Gagulia did not exclude such a possibility.

He admitted that at the present time the Abkhazians were actually "citizens without citizenship," they had no opportunity to receive passports. Gennady Gagulia reminded the audience that Russia had decided to issue foreign passports and grant Russian citizenship to the Abkhazians who wanted it.

"Since we have proclaimed our independence, we have to live, to develop, to provide our people with food and to develop our economy," pointed out the head of the Abkhazian government and added: juridically, Abkhazia has not been recognised by any state of the world community, and this fact deteriorates all aspects of the republic's existence.

In reply to the request to comment on the recent proposal made by Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze about turning Georgia into a federal state in which Abkhazia will be given special rights and a special status, Gennady Gagulia sceptically remarked that there could be no return to the past. "There is no point in discussing this question now, twelve years afterwards," underscored Gennady Gagulia.

Speaking about the plans of creating a joint Georgian-Abkhazian administration in the Gali district of Abkhazia, the head of the Abkhazian government said that "we have the administration there, the legal authorities are working, and I see no reason in setting up anything new there." According to him, the proposal of this kind is aimed at "spreading the jurisdiction of Georgia to the territory of Abkhazia."