The Parliament Has Adopted a Statement Concerning the Gudauta Military Base

The special plenary session held on July 18 was dedicated to the situation created around the Russian military base in Gudauta, Abkhazia. Two projects of adequate actions were outlined on the session. The Traditionalists had made the first one (holding a special plenary session was their initiative too) and the ruling party (the Citizens’ Union) had formed the second one. According to both projects, Georgia should firmly state its position concerning the withdrawal of the Gudauta base as well as the Batumi and Akhalkalaki military bases at the OSCE Summit in Lisbon in October. The major difference between the two projects is that the Traditionalists want that international neutral subdivisions alternate with Russian troops dislocated in Abkhazia as peacekeepers. The ruling party opposes the statement and claims that in case international forces take the place of Russian troops that will mean that Georgia leaves the Commonwealth of International States, because Russian armed forces located in Abkhazia are called the CIS Peace Corps.

At the end of the session the Parliament passed a final joint resolution with 154 votes against 0. According to the it, in case Russia foresees the agreement made at the Istanbul Summit (it withdraws the Gudauta base) the Georgian Parliament will discuss the expediency of ratifying an adapted treaty of the Conventional Forces in Europe.

The Parliament special plenary session developed in quite tensed environment. Discussion between the deputies even grew into a fight because of offending each other. According to the OSCE Istanbul summit in 1999 Russia should have withdrawn the Gudata military base from Georgia by July 1, 2001.