Russia attempts to establish official ties with Abkhazia as with a sovereign state, Nika Gvaramia, the Georgian justice minister, said on April 8.
He said that the Ministry has received a letter from the Russian Justice Ministry informing Tbilisi about its intention to, as he quoted the letter, “closely cooperate, hold talks and make legal-related decision with the Abkhaz authorities” over extradition of 35 Russian citizens currently jailed in Abkhazia.
He said the terms used in the letter - “the Abkhaz authorities” and “Abkhaz-Russian relations” - were “extremely incorrect from political and legal points of view.”
“It should be considered as an extremely unfriendly move by the Russian Federation aimed at... establishing official relations with Abkhazia, as with a sovereign state,” Gvaramia said. “This in turn amounts to provoking the North Cyprus-style scenario.”
“Basing on the principle of Georgia’s territorial integrity, which is backed by the Georgian constitution and international acts, and considering Abkhazia as an integral part of Georgia, the Georgian Justice Ministry states that the cooperation on any issues can be carried out only between Georgia and the Russian Federation, as between two independent and equal entities of international law,” Gvaramia said. “We will perceive any other moves by the Russian Federation as interference in Georgia’s internal affairs and infringement of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”