Russia Dispatches Troops to Kodori

Georgian MP Iveri Chelidze stated at the Parliamentary session on April 12 that Russia dispatched troops to Kodori gorge with the 8 helicopters this morning.

Georgian Defense Ministry confirmed that 4 military and 4 civil helicopters flied into the gorge and dispatched there military units.

Although Defense Ministry cannot specify whether the troops are Russian or Abkhazian.

Georgian Parliamentary Chairperson Nino Burjanadze said that in case the report is confirmed it will be violation of sovereignty of Georgia by Russia.

According to the Georgian MP tens of Russian soldiers are dispatch to the gorge. Chelidze says that Russian helicopters are flying over the gorge.

Iveri Chelidze, who is elected from Kodori district, stated today that local Georgian population of the gorge is in panic.

“I do not rule out that the clashes will occur in case the Russian troops are not pulled out,” Georgian MP said.

On April 11 Georgian Defense Ministry reported that it has completed withdrawal of troops from upper Kodori gorge, the only part of breakaway Abkhazia controlled by the Georgian government, as the April 2 protocol provisions indicated.

On April 2, in Tbilisi the Georgian and Abkhazian sides signed a protocol, according to which the Defense Ministry of Georgia has to pull out troops from upper Kodori for April 10.

The Abkhazian side is obliged to withdraw heavy armaments from lower Kodori, as well as from Tkvarcheli district of breakaway region.

Georgian politicians feared that after the pull out, Georgia would lose control over this strategic gorge.

Georgian government claimed that the security of Kodori would be ensured as the Border Guard Department units replaced the Defense Ministry’s troops in the gorge to protect the local Georgian population.

Georgian Parliamentarians

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian)