Sergey Bagapsh, the Abkhaz leader, said Tbilisi’s new proposals were part of its “propaganda ahead of the NATO summit” in Bucharest.
“Georgia is trying to portray itself as a peace-loving nation in the eyes of the North-Atlantic alliance, which it wishes to join,” Bagapsh told Russia’s Interfax news agency on March 29. “Saakashvili’s proposals are unacceptable for us and we reject them.”
“It is impossible to have an undeclared war against Abkhazia yesterday, involving terrorists acts, and today to be a peace-loving politician.”
President Saakashvili on March 28 offered Sokhumi “unlimited autonomy;” a joint free economic zone, representation at central government level and the post of vice-president with the right to veto Abkhaz-related decisions.
“We have seen this before,” Bagapsh said. “We had autonomy on the eve of the war, in the early nineties. We proposed federation with Georgia, but received an armed invasion…The Abkhaz leadership will still pursue its course towards receiving recognition of our independence.”
He did, however, say that Sokhumi was ready to discuss with Tbilisi what he called a “peace treaty.”