Abkhazia rejects possibility of creation of a federation in Georgia

Premier of the unrecognized republic of Abkhazia Raul Khadzhimba believes that the creation of a federation in Georgia involving Abkhazia is impossible.

"We had this status before the start of the war. Now, this stage is over, and we are not willing to repeat the process," announced the Abkhazian Premier during a press conference in Moscow.

He stated that Abkhazia intends to preserve the current status of relations with Georgia. In response to a question about possible change of Tbilisi's attitude toward Abkhazia in the wake of the recent events in Georgia, Mr. Khadzhimba remarked that he could not predict the development of the situation at this point. "After election in Georgia we will see what position the new Georgian leadership is going to take in relation to Abkhazia. The most acceptable scenario for Abkhazia is to maintain peaceful relations and continue negotiation process with Georgia," Mr. Khadzhimba said.

He also stressed fundamental differences in Abkhazian and Adzharian relations with Georgia.

Adzharia has never separated and will not separate from Georgia, Mr. Khadzhimba pointed out. "In contrast, after a military conflict with Georgia, Abkhazia proclaimed its independence. We are in conflict with Georgia and hope to continue the negotiation process," he added.

Mr. Khadzhimba confirmed his opinion that the presence of a peacekeeping contingent on Abkhazian territory is necessary.

Answering a question about the present state of Abkhazian armed forces, the premier stated: "Our armed forces are strong enough to protect the proclaimed independence of the republic."

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