Position of the parliament Towards Situation in Abkhazia
Parliament had definitely negative response to the bombing of Georgian villages in Kodori valley, which has been commenced by Russian warplanes according to one of the versions of the accident. The Opposition factions demanded suspension of the plenary session and invitation of the “power” ministers to the Parliament in this connection. “We do not know what exactly is happening in Abkhazia”, declared Vakhtang Rcheulishvili, vice speaker of the Parliament, member of the “Socialist” faction. Parliamentarians, who support President also talk about lack of information.
“First of all I’d like to repeat what President has said before – There is nothing alarming happening in Abkhazia” states Irakli Gogava, chairman of the faction “Alliance for New Georgia”. The faction has clear pro-Shevardnadze position. Gogava thinks “that Executive Government is in control of the situation. Otherwise President would not have done such statement”.
Chairman of the “Socialist” faction Irakli Mindeli states that “Terrible shady venture has happened in Abkhazia”. It would be very difficult to every politician in Georgia to not to support Georgian partisans in Abkhazia. However, our information about the resources that we possess at present moment says that such actions would lead to even further casualties and I doubt that we are able to return Abkhazia with our current capabilities”.
Irakli Mindeli has two versions of explanation of the events in Abkhazia. First version says that the events are planned by Georgian government and coordinated with other states, Russia in particular. Second version – Shevardnadze’s government has engaged itself into a venture, escape from which would be extremely difficult. Leader of the faction thinks that Chechens might have been put in with Russia’s ‘blessing’ as well. This would enable Russian armed forces to destroy Chechen fighters not in Chechnya but in Abkhazia.
Faction “Socialist” is a member of the Parliamentary Minority, members of which have predicted escalation of the tension in Abkhazia two months ago. Leader of the Minority Jemal Gogitidze was the one to inform that there are 700 Chechens are based near Enguri river, on administrative border between Abkhazia and Samegrelo (region in western Georgia). Another leader of the Minority Giorgi Targamadze declares that if current events in Abkhazia would further increase tension in the region, that the Opposition would demand political liability of Shevardnadze and his team. On October 9th Chairman of the Adjarian Autonomous Republic Aslan Abashidze who enjoys political support in the Opposition has offered his mediation between Tbilisi and Sukhumi.
“Georgian government should be responsible for any movements which occur on the territory, controlled by it” – says Irakli Mindeli. According to various information sources, Chechen fighters have entered Abkhazia from Pankisi valley. “If this is true, than liability of the government, power structures in particular’ should be demanded” – says Piqria Chikhradze from the faction “New Rightists”.
Revaz Adamia, Chairman of the “Citizens’ Union” faction is less categorical: “Chechens might have intruded Abkhazia from Russian territory as well. I have been to Marukhi and Qlukhori passes in summer and saw that neither Georgian nor Russian guards are thoroughly protecting the state border”. However Adamia does not exclude the version that Chechens came to Abkhazia through Georgian territory from Pankisi, but “It is hard to imagine that they just marched their way thru the country. They might have used ordinary cars for this purpose,” said Adamia.
“I can not evaluate events in Abkhazia because I do not have complete information. But it is evident that the official government is not participating here. There are no units of Georgian power structures in the region” states Adamia. Adamia connects solution of the Abkhazian issue to the creation of anti-terrorist alliance, led by the United States. While remembering Shevardnadze’s recent official visit to the US, Chairman of the “Citizens’ Union” faction say: “I have an impression, that actions, coordinated with both the United States and the Russian Federation might be implemented in regard of these [Abkhazian] issues” and explains bombing of the Kodori valley by Russia as ‘inertia’ of the Russian militaries.
Piqria Chikhradze gives to the Georgian government rather local problem to solve. She suggests that the government first of all should think of strengthening of the part of Kodori valley which still is under Georgian control. At the same time Georgian government must achieve internationalization of the CIS peacekeeping forces in the nearest future.
“We are for peaceful solution of Abkhazian conflict” – says Irakli Gogava of the faction Alliance for New Georgia – “But there is an old saying – If you want peace, be ready for war”.