-------------------- News from Abkhazia --------------------



Statement by the Chairman


High-level meeting of the Group of Friends of the Secretary-General


12-13 February 2007, Geneva


From 12 to 13 February 2007, senior representatives of the Group of  Friends of the Secretary-General met in Geneva under the chairmanship of the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping. Together with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, the Friends discussed the United Nations-led Georgian-Abkhaz peace process and ways to promote the dialogue between the parties, in particular the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1716 (2006). Representatives of the Georgian and Abkhaz sides took part in the meeting. >>>>


 Ethnic Germans Cut Adrift in Abkhazia


Sukhum, Lavrenty Gart, 71, remembers vividly when the secret police came for his mother after war broke out with Nazi Germany in 1941. He himself wouldn't have survived were it not for his neighbors.


His neighbors -- Poles, Armenians and Georgians -- hid him and family members even though they were Germans.


"It saved us," said Gart, now head of the Society of Germans in Abkhazia. "Nobody asked what nationality you were. There was that kind of friendship among different peoples."


Abkhazia has long been known as a land where an array of peoples, cultures and ethnicities overlap. As early as the sixth century B.C., historian Edward Gibbons noted, 132 tongues could be heard in the marketplace here.


"We have always been multinational," said Maxim Gunjia, Abkhazia's deputy foreign minister. Unfortunately, he added, many groups have fled the region since the 1992-93 war with Georgia.


The exodus of ethnic Germans has been expedited by a government program in Berlin enabling the people -- who have to trace their "German-ness" through one parent's side of the family -- to return.


A handful of German speakers remain, with Abkhaz, Armenians and Georgians making up the bulk of the population. "We used to have 71 members," Gart lamented. Now there are 31.


The Society of Germans in Abkhazia works mainly as a support group. Most of the Germans here are pensioners struggling to make ends meet.


The society meets in the Lutheran Church, which Germans built in Sukhum in 1913 and was only returned to the community in 1999: For nearly 80 years, the Communists banned religious services there.


Every few months, a German priest comes to preach at the church. They also hold German history lessons there, and they collect information on well known German speakers who once lived in Abkhazia. A large map of the fatherland adorns one wall.


Most important, the society lends a hand to members when they fall ill, with one member being assigned to help whoever needs it.


"For us, it means a lot," member Nelli Nais said of the society.


Johannes Launhardd, the Bishop of the Caucasus for the Evangelical Lutheran Church, noted that the church worked closely with the broader German-speaking community.


"These are people who have to live on their pension, and the pension they get is not enough," Launhardd said in a telephone interview from his office in Tbilisi, Georgia.


Abkhaz pensions are 100 rubles per month.


Whenever the bishop visits, he said, the church donates dry goods to the ethnic Germans living in Abkhazia.


"Everyone is surprised," Gart said. "They ask how we live. This is how we live -- in poverty."


In the winter, the society meets less often, with Sukhum residents still nervous about walking about after dark. Until recently, the city maintained a curfew.


The society was formed in the turbulent early 1990s, just a month before war broke out between Georgian forces and separatists in Abkhazia.


Now, one of the only things holding it together -- what's left of it, anyway -- is that few members have anywhere to go.


Indeed, the German government has refused entry to many German-speaking Abkhaz because, Gart said, they cannot prove their ethnic identity. Even Gart can't go back to the homeland of his forefathers, who, he said, came from Germany in the 19th century to Ukraine; later, they were exiled to Siberia, and in 1917, they settled in Abkhazia.


"During the war, many Germans hid their nationality before taking on Russian or Ukrainian identities," Gart said. "They did it to save themselves ... and now they feel guilty."


While Germany welcomed ethnic Germans from Abkhazia immediately after the 1989 collapse of the Berlin Wall, that enthusiasm has faded, Gart said.


In fact, the immigration rules have changed, he said, complicating the process.


A spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry denied that the rules had changed.


Given the current state of affairs, Gart is not planning on going anywhere and is now trying to do more here in Abkhazia.


To help in all this, Gart said, he's hoping the German government will throw in some money. He'd like to assist some more ethnic Germans trying to get by. And maybe buy some furniture.


"There isn't anything apart from a telephone," Gart said.


02.22.2007  the moscow times


 Abkhazia will not hold talks if Georgia ignores UN resolution - minister


Moscow, Whether Georgia and Abkhazia resume talks depends on Georgian compliance with a 2006 UN Security Council resolution demanding that Tbilisi withdraw its troops from the Kodor Gorge, Abkhaz Foreign Minister Sergei Shamba said on Friday.


"In October 2006, the UN Security Council passed a resolution in which Georgia was strictly told that it must withdraw its troops from the Kodor Gorge. In April, there will be another meeting of the UN Security Council, and by that time Georgia must decide whether or not it is going to satisfy the UN demands," he told a news conference at the Interfax headquarters in Moscow.


02.16.2007  Interfax


 Abkhaz foreign minister: “Returning refugees to Abkhazia will provoke another Georgian-Abkhaz war”


“If by April 2007 Georgia starts implementing the UN Security Council resolution, which prescribes it to withdraw troops from Kodor Gorge, we are ready to recommence talks,” Abkhaz Foreign Minister Sergey Shamba announced at a news conference in Moscow today, a REGNUM correspondent informs.


Sergey Shamba also noted that “returning of refugees to Abkhazia is impossible until a normal situation is established in the conflict zone. Otherwise, it will provoke exacerbation of the situation and result in a new Georgian-Abkhaz war.”


“At present moment, as the first stage, we return and help in adaptation of refugees in Gal District. And already this stage is accompanied by various provocations from the Georgian side,” Shamba announced.


02.16.2007  REGNUM


 Russia Issues Stern Warning on Kosovo


Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday that granting independence to Kosovo would have "the most negative consequences" for the Balkans and Europe, national media reported -- some of the strongest language yet on an issue that has deepened Moscow's disagreements with the West.


The remarks were Russia's latest criticism of a United Nations' plan that entails supervised statehood for the troubled Balkan province. Lavrov and other officials in Russia, a traditional ally of Serbia, have expressed concern that the plan would give Kosovo independence, and said a deal must be negotiated and be acceptable to both sides.


Lavrov reiterated a warning issued in September that Russia could use its veto power in the UN Security Council if it disagreed with a proposal by UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari, RIA-Novosti reported. The proposal must be approved by the Security Council to take effect.


"There exists a fairly insistent idea among our Western partners to propose a resolution swiftly that would approve Ahtisaari's plan," RIA-Novosti quoted Lavrov as saying.


Lavrov said Russia would only consider such a resolution if the Serbian and Kosovo leaderships agreed on the plan or an amended version.


"As regards Kosovo, we are convinced that granting this territory independence will have the most negative consequences for the region and for Europe as a whole," the news agency quoted Lavrov as saying. "Our Western partners are convinced of the opposite."


Lavrov apparently did not say what potential consequences he had in mind. Putin has warned the West that granting Kosovo independence would serve as precedent for other nations with similar cases, including pro-Russian breakaway provinces in Georgia and Moldova, whose sovereignty claims are dismissed by the United States and Europe.


Also Friday, Georgia's breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions reiterated that they would press for independence if Serbia's Kosovo were granted sovereignty.


"We can offer facts proving that we have more grounds for independence than Kosovo, historically, legally and factually," Abkhaz Foreign Minister Sergei Shamba said. "If Kosovo is recognized ... it will set a precedent. Whether this precedent will be applied to Abkhazia, South Ossetia and others ... is a political question," he said.


South Ossetian Foreign Minister Murat Dzhioyev, speaking alongside Shamba, added: "If Kosovo gets independence, that must be applied to other countries, too."


Kosovo has been a UN protectorate since 1999, when NATO airstrikes that were adamantly criticized by Moscow stopped Serbia's crackdown on separatist ethnic Albanian rebels. Belgrade insists the province must remain a part of Serbia, whereas its majority ethnic Albanians seek independence.


Serbia's new parliament Wednesday overwhelmingly rejected Ahtisaari's plan, which entails internationally supervised self-rule for Kosovo, including a flag, anthem, army, constitution and the right to join international organizations.


02.19.2007  the moscow times


 Moscow hoping for restart of stalled Georgia-Abkhazia talks


Moscow, Moscow hopes that Georgia-Abkhazia talks, suspended last summer following Tbilisi's deployment of troops close to Abkhazia's border, will be resumed soon, Russia's Foreign Ministry said Friday.


Talks to resolve a long-running conflict between the post-Soviet Caucasus nation and its rebellious region broke off in July when Tbilisi moved security forces into the Kodor Gorge, the de facto border between Abkhazia and Georgia proper, and established a local administration formed with Abkhaz political exiles.


Officials from Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and the United States met in Geneva Friday for a session of the UN Secretary General's Group of Friends of Georgia (GFG), focusing on progress in the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1716. The document calls for, among other things, the pullout of Georgian armed units from Kodor.


"Moscow assesses as positive the results of the GFG meeting held within the framework of the 'Geneva process'," Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued after the meeting. "We hope they will help overcome the pause in the Georgian-Abkhaz negotiating process and lead to tangible shifts in that direction."


Abkhaz delegates to the GFG meeting reiterated the Abkhazia's willingness to resume talks with Tbilisi, but not until it signs a non-aggression pact and withdraws its troops and government officials from Kodor.


Abkhazia's leadership claims Georgia's move into the gorge violated the terms of the ceasefire agreement signed to end a bloody war that broke out after Abkhazia proclaimed its independence in the early 1990s.


Abkhaz Foreign Minister Sergei Shamba told a news conference in Moscow Friday that the talks will resume if Georgia begins the withdrawal of its forces from Kodor within the next month, in keeping with Resolution 1716.


"If Georgia begins implementing the UN Security Council Resolution before April, then we are in favor of the resumption of the negotiating process," he said, adding that the council is to hold a special session on Georgia that month.


Abkhazia has not been recognized as a sovereign state either by Tbilisi or by the international community. Moscow has been supporting the self-proclaimed republic's bid for independence all along, and has said that if the United Nations grants full sovereignty to the Serbian province of Kosovo, it should act the same way toward Abkhazia.


Georgia's pro-Western government, which came to power on the back of a "rose" revolution in 2003, is determined to bring Abkhazia back under its control.


02.16.2007  RIA Novosti


 Abkhazia: Assessment of Human Rights


CoE [Council of Europe] Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg will visit Georgia on February 12-18 to assess the human rights situation in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as well as in the Adjara Autonomous Republic, the CoE reported.


In Tbilisi the CoE Commissioner will meet with the country’s leaders, parliamentarians and leading human rights experts. The visits to Abkhazia and South Ossetia will include meetings with de facto authorities and representatives of local civil society.


Commissioner Hammarberg will assess the Georgian authorities’ activities regarding their obligations towards the Council of Europe, especially in relation to the treatment of national minorities, internally displaced persons, migrants and asylum seekers.


02.13.2007  UNPO


 Georgian authorities offer deeper cooperation to Abkhazia


Tbilisi, Georgian authorities have called on Sukhum for deepening bilateral cooperation and ensuring incessant negotiations.


The appeal was made at the Geneva meeting of Georgian and Abkhaz delegations with the Friends to Georgia Group on February 12-13. The group is made up of the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany and France.


Tbilisi “affirmed the importance of direct dialog between Tbilisi and Sukhum for comprehensive political settlement of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict,” says a statement by the Georgian State Ministry for the Resolution of Conflicts posted in Tbilisi on Tuesday evening.


The Georgian delegation suggested creating “security mechanisms, which will help to restore regional peace and stability, ensure security and rights of Gal district population, deploy a international police force and open a human rights office in Gal,” the ministry said.


Georgia “reaffirmed the supremacy of safe return of refugees in Abkhazia in keeping with international norms and human rights, including property rights, and expressed the readiness to continue the economic rehabilitation of the Abkhaz conflict zone,” the ministry said.


State Minister for the Resolution of Conflicts Merab Antadze led the Georgian delegation, while Foreign Minister Sergei Shamba was his Abkhaz counterpart.


02.13.2007  Itar-Tass


 Halvdan Skard: "The Congress did not observe the local elections in Abkhazia as they have violated the principle of the territorial integrity of Georgia"


Strasbourg,  The Congress did not send observers to the local elections which were held in Abkhazia on 11 February, followed by parliamentary elections on 4 March.


Congress President Halvdan Skard said that the holding of these elections violated the principle of the territorial integrity of Georgia. As a result, the elections were incompatible with European values and standards in this field. He also called on the Georgian authorities to deploy all their efforts to guarantee stability in the area and to reach a peaceful solution to the conflict in Abkhazia.


The Congress had observed the local elections in Georgia on 5 October 2006 and had concluded that they generally upheld individual freedoms, but had nonetheless emphasised that a greater distinction needed to be made between the authorities and the ruling party.


02.12.2007  ReliefWeb


 Goergian-Abkhaz delations leave for UN-led Geneva talks


A Georgian delegation, led by State Minister for Conflict Settlement Merab Antadze left for Geneva to participate in the UN-led Georgian-Abkhaz talks scheduled for February 12-13.


"During the consultations, the Georgian side will focus on those major issues that will promote the launch of a bilateral [Georgian-Abkhaz] dialogue, ensure security guarantees and establish a relevant legal framework, that will finally pave a way towards political settlement of the conflict," a statement issued by the Georgian State Minister''s Press Office reads.


According to the statement, during the meeting, the Georgian side will also push for "the issue of return of refugees and internally displaced persons" to the entire territory of Abkhazia.


Meanwhile, de facto Abkhaz Foreign Minister, the head of Abkhaz delegation Segey Shamba said that during the talks in Geneva the Abkhaz side will request Tbilisi to implement the UN Security Council''s recent resolution on Georgian-Abkhaz conflict settlement issues.


According to Shamba, the Abkhaz delegation will pay particular attention to the need of demilitarization of the Kodor Valley as well as measures of pressure taken by the Georgian special services in direction of Gal residents during the "local elections".


Meeting in Geneva is held under the auspices of the UN Secretary General''s Group of Friend on Georgia, which brings together diplomats from Germany, France, Great Britain, Russia and the United States.


02.12.2007  unomig.org


 Local elections in Abkhazia can be deemed valid - official


Sukhum, Elections to local self-government bodies in Abkhazia can be regarded valid in 90% of electoral districts, head of the Central Elections Commission of Abkhazia Batal Tabagua told Interfax Sunday evening.


He said elections were held at 100% of polling stations in Gal district bordering on Georgia, in Gagra and Gudauta districts.


"At 5 p.m. the turnout was insufficient at one polling station in Sukhum district, one in Gulripsh district and at three in Sukhum," Tabagua added.


He said the polling stations would close at 8 p.m. "We have almost two hours left and I think the elections will be deemed valid at the remaining stations as well," he added.


Tabagua said the Central Elections Commission expects to receive full information about the completion of voting throughout the republic several minutes after the polling stations close.


02.11.2007  Intefax


 Abkhazia to hold talks with Georgia after abducted citizens freed


Sukhum, The Abkhazian leadership does not deem it expedient to hold talks with the Georgian side before abducted Abkhazian citizens, are freed. They are ranking officials of the administration of the Gal district – Fridon Chakaberia and David Sigua, said on Sunday Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh in the Gal district, bordering Georgia, where elections to local bodies of self-government are in progress now, as is the case all over the republic.


Speaking at meeting with the participation of the president’s representative Ruslan Kishmaria, the district administration, force-wielding structures and members of election commissions, Bagapsh said: “We take all permissible measures to free them.”


The Abkhazian head stated that the tough position of the Abkhazian side on this question was conveyed to the UN mission and other international organizations, interested in settling the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict.


“Let nobody entertain illusions concerning the attitude of the Abkhazian leadership and people to the Gal district,” the president said. “This is a primordial Abkhazian territory, and the Abkhazian authorities will not abate their attention to that district.”


In connection with stepped-up operations of saboteur and terrorist groups, sent by Georgian secret services, Bagapsh continued, the presence of law enforcers in the Gal district was increased and reinforced. The president added that this would take as much time, as it would be needed to stabilize the situation there. “Any provocative actions by the Saakashvili regime in the Gal district will be bluntly stopped,” the Abkhazian president stated.


The president’s representative at the mass media Kristian Bzhaniya told Itar-Tass that the turnout of population in the Gal district is high, while the situation in the district is stable. The president's representative flatly refuted Georgian press reports on punitive measures by Abkhazian police, ostensibly taken in the Gal district last night.


“There were no punitive operations. Such statements are only propaganda by the Saakashvili regime, looking more as hysterics,” Bzhaniya told Itar-Tass.


At the same time, Abkhazia demanded active interference of the UN, the PACE, European and Western human rights organizations in the process of kidnapping of Abkhazian citizens, Bagapsh said on Sunday.


He met on Sunday with family members of the chairman of the district election commission David Sigua in the city of Gal, who, according to claims by Abkhazian authorities, had been kidnapped by Georgian secret services on February 3.


Sigua’s wife and sister requested the president to explain the situation around the abducted Sigua. Bagapsh assured them that “the Abkhazian authorities were actively engaged in releasing from the Georgian capture Sigua and Chakaberia, head of the local village administration who was illegally detained by Georgian authorities from last December 5.


Bagapsh contended that Sigua and Chakaberia “fell victims of their political convictions, since they openly crusaded for stabilization of the situation in the Gal district and actively participated in the life of the district.


02.11.2007  Itar-Tass


 Abkhazia suspends all contacts with Georgia


Sukhum, Abkhazia has suspended all contacts with Georgia until two officials who were recently abducted in the Gal district have been released.


"We demand that Georgia release the people who were recently abducted in the Gal district of Abkhazia. The people who have been abducted are Gal district elections commission chief David Sigua and the head of a village administration. All contacts with the Georgian side are suspended until they have been released," Abkhaz President Sergei Bagapsh told Interfax on Friday.


"We have decided not to withdraw from consultations in Geneva, because we view them not as a meeting with the Georgian side, but as negotiations with UN representatives," he said.


02.09.2007  Interfax


 Abkhazia suspects Tbilisi of trying to thwart elections


Sukhum, The Abkhaz Central Elections Commission views the recent abduction of the Gal district election commission chairman as an act of Georgian secret services targeted for thwarting parliament elections in Abkhazia on March 4.


“This crime shows that Georgian authorities are using all types of political blackmail, provocative acts and terrorism against Abkhazia. They are kidnapping people and intimidating residents of Abkhaz districts bordering on Georgia,” runs a Friday appeal by the Central Elections Commission of the Republic of Abkhazia.


“Georgia is deliberately trying to keep off Gal residents from the public and political life of the region,” the commission said.


The elections “will meet democratic norms and laws of the Republic of Abkhazia in an atmosphere of transparency and free appearance of voters at polling stations,” the commission said.


The commission asked the international community “to give an objective evaluation of the Georgian conduct, which endangers regional peace and security” and requested international human rights organizations to assist the liberation of the abducted man.


Two of 130 candidates have withdrawn from the election campaign, and Abkhazia has 128 candidates to 35 parliamentary mandates at present.


02.09.2007  Itar-Tass


 Tbilisi attaches great importance to Geneva meeting with Abkhazia


Tbilisi, Georgian State Minister on Conflict Settlement Merab Antadze said on Thursday he attaches great importance to the upcoming Georgian-Abkhazian meeting with the Group of Friends of UN Secretary-General on Georgia due in Geneva on February 12-13.


The Group includes the U.S., Russia, Germany, France and Britain.


Antadze will head the Georgian delegation to the talks. Georgia’s UN envoy Irakli Alasania and a group of Georgian experts will represent the delegation.


“At the upcoming meeting Georgia will focus not only on the situation in the conflict zone and the settlement of concrete problems, but also on the need to boost the process of the large-scale conflict settlement,” he said.


“We consider it necessary to create the conditions for safe return of refugees to Abkhazia, to implement social and economic programs in the conflict zone, ensure security there and restore confidence between the two parties,” he said.


“It is necessary to take concrete steps in this direction and we hope that a meeting in Geneva will help this process,” Antadze said.


The Abkhazian delegation will be represented by the Foreign Minister of the unrecognised republic, Sergei Shamba.


Georgia and Abkhazia have been meeting once a year in Geneva since late 1990-s to discuss the conflict settlement.


The last meeting took place in March 2006.


02.08.2007  Itar-Tass


 Czechs explore world's deepest cave

A year ago we reported on a Czech expedition exploring the world's largest salt cave in Iran. As a matter of fact, Czech explorers have also been to the deepest cave in the world. Two speleologists from the city of Brno have just returned from Abkhazia where an international expedition increased the penetrated depth to 2,170 metres, firmly establishing the Krubera-Voronya as the deepest cave on earth.


The Krubera-Voronya Cave is located in the Gagra Range in Georgia's breakaway republic of Abkhazia at the altitude of 2,250 metres above sea level. It consists of steep shafts, a number of meandering horizontal passages and a few sumps. Zdenek Dvorak has taken part in expeditions to the cave since 2005 when the Russian Cavex team invited him and his colleagues to join them. He has just spent over two weeks in Abkhazia and describes the new discovery.


"The previous recorded deepest point was at 2,158 metres. One of our colleagues from Kiev dived to the depth of 30 metres in the lowest sump which moved the bottommost point to 2,170 metres. So the deepest known point now is actually underwater."


To get to the bottom, explorers need to spend many days in the cave without seeing daylight. Food, water, ropes and diving equipment need to be transported to the place in advance. Zdenek Dvorak says there are still unexplored parts in the Krubera-Voronya cave.


"It is definitely deeper. The entry in is at 2,250 metres above the sea and water flows out of the cave system either at sea level or under. So there are potentially another 100 metres as far as depth is concerned. Lengthwise there are still some 10-15 kilometres of passages waiting to be explored."

02.08.2007  radio praha  
 Abkhazia plans curfew for Gal district


Sukhum, Restrictions on the nighttime movement of people and vehicles are planned for Abkhazia's Gal district.


"As a result of the recent sabotage activity by Georgia, plans are to restrict the movement of people and vehicles at night," representative of the Abkhaz president to the Gal district Ruslan Kishmaria told Interfax on Monday.


"The situation has remained tense" in the Gal district, adjacent to Georgia, he said.


It was reported earlier that David Sigua, the chief of the Gal district elections commission in the republic of Abkhazia, was abducted on Saturday.


02.05.2007  Interfax-AVN


 Crane accident kills 2 in northern Moscow


Moscow, Two workers died in a construction crane accident in northern Moscow on Sunday, a source at the city prosecutor’s office told Itar-Tass.


The natives of Abkhazia and Ukraine died at about 12:30 p.m. local time.


A criminal case was opened on the charge of a lethal breach of construction safety rules.


02.04.2007  Itar-Tass


 Electoral com head in Abkhazia seized by masked attackers


Sukhum, Unidentified attackers in Abkhazia's Gal district have seized the chairman of the district electoral commission for parliamentary elections, David Sigua, from his home.


Sigua was seized at 05:00 Moscow time this Saturday, Abkhazian presidential envoy to the Gal district Ruslan Kishmaria said.


Sigua's relatives said that five masked persons armed with submachine guns broke into his home in the central part of the city of Gal and took him out by force. They sat him in a car and drove away toward the lower part of the Gal district. His relatives immediately informed police about it, and police are searching for Sigua all over the Gal district now.


The envoy did not rule out the seizure was linked with Sigua's active participation in Abkhazia's public life. On December 6, at a mass meeting in Sukhum, Sigua spoke on behalf of the Gal district's residents and called on Georgia's leaders to leave them in peace and let them live peacefully in their motherland in Abkhazia.


02.03.2007  Itar-Tass


 Expert: Georgia supports the alternative government to split Ossetian society


Georgia fears South Ossetia and Abkhazia’s recognition, so it stages military provocations, South Ossetian political analyst Gennady Kokoyev told a REGNUM correspondent commenting on the situation around South Ossetia.


According to him, “there is no need to be a great analyst to give assessment to Georgia’s actions towards the unrecognized republics. Everyone understands that the situation around Kosovo is in no way unique, and unrecognized republics can be recognized and this can happen very soon indeed. Georgia fears to death, that is why it makes attempts to escalate tension in South Ossetia and Abkhazia to make the international community think not about granting independence, but about settling military conflicts accompanied by troubles and casualties,” Kokoyev said stressing that such way is a deadlock for Georgia.


Speaking on future scenarios of the situation in South Ossetia, the analyst believes that “undoubtedly, everything will be aimed at creating tension in the region, attempting to force out the population, increase migratory trends to have an opportunity to enter Tskhinvali without trouble.” “Such approach is counterproductive. There is no fear or panic in South Ossetia,” the expert said. At the same time, according to him, the Georgian government will continue financing the so-called alternative government in order to split Ossetian society. “It is the best way for Georgia to destabilize the situation. All the conflicts have common ground – to establish two conflicting parties, to split society, people and establish two camps. Georgia will continue creating hostility between Ossetians and Georgians,” Kokoyev concluded.


02.02.2007  REGNUM