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Comment of the Georgian Foreign Ministry in reaction to information spread by the occupation regime of Georgia’s occupied region of Abkhazia on a so-called ''draft treaty on alliance and integration''with the Russian Federation

On the 13th of October 2014, the draft text of a "Treaty between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Abkhazia on Alliance and Integration" was published on the websites of Abkhaz and other news agencies. According to these statements, the document was drafted by the Russian government and was submitted to the new Abkhaz occupation regime for the consideration.

These statements, along with the text of the so-called "draft treaty" itself, constitute further proof of the fact that the Russian government continues to grossly violate fundamental principles of international law and to completely ignore various commitments it has undertaken.

In this regard, it should be emphasized that two years ago, and despite the complexity of the many problems relating to the return of Georgia's occupied territories and to the restoration of the country's territorial integrity, the Georgian government offered Russia a new format for bilateral dialogue aimed at restoring mutual confidence. The realization of this policy subsequently led to clear improvements in matters concerning trade, economic relations and humanitarian issues, and this process has so far played a very positive role in terms of strengthening stability and security in the region.

The signature and implementation of the so-called "draft treaty on alliance and integration" would, however, pose a serious threat to these important efforts to normalize Georgia-Russia relations, and would considerably undermine the Geneva International Discussions, which are of particular importance.

It is unacceptable that the preamble of the so-called draft treaty claims to speak on behalf of the two countries' peoples, particularly as is it a well-known fact that most of Abkhazia's native inhabitants were forcibly expelled from their homes, including as a result of ethnic cleansing. Consequently, the implementation of the draft treaty would seriously endanger the identity of remaining inhabitants of Abkhazia, Georgia.

We sincerely hope that the Russian government will refrain from signing this so-called new treaty, for to do so could only be assessed as a step towards the outright annexation of Georgia's occupied region of Abkhazia, and would result in appropriate international legal consequences.

We call upon international organizations and the international community to take special notice of this issue and of Russia's intentions, the fulfillment of which would qualitatively change the situation in the region and would create additional problems for the issue of security in Europe.

15 October 2014

Press and Information Department

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