Coordinating Council, a group uniting opposition parties and movements of breakaway Abkhazia, has called for a new, upgraded partnership treaty with Russia, and Abkhazia’s membership in Russian-led Eurasian Union and Customs Union.
A statement by the Coordinating Council comes amid political standoff in Abkhazia as the opposition continues holding control of presidential headquarters in Sokhumi, insisting on Abkhaz leader Alexander Ankvab’s resignation. Russian President’s aide, Vladislav Surkov, is in Sokhumi mediating between the opposition and the authorities.
The statement by Coordinating Council says that after recognition of independence of Abkhazia by Russia in August, 2008, bilateral ties moved to substantially new level. Russia signed comprehensive treaties on friendship and cooperation with Sokhumi and Tskhinvali in September, 2008.
“Abkhazia is sincerely grateful to the Russian leadership for its selfless comprehensive support,” reads the Abkhaz opposition’s statement. “At the same time, we are watching with concern developments in the world and we see that new global threats are emerging in connection with the attempt of the West to expand zones of its geopolitical and military influence through neglecting the sovereignty and rights of peoples.”
“Therefore, for small states, like Abkhazia, the only way to maintain its independence and to ensure strong defence and security is to join the integration processes initiated by Russia in the post-Soviet space. We are interested in participation on an equal basis in the Customs Union; EurAsEC [Eurasian Economic Community] and Eurasian Union, and we hope Russia will assist [Abkhazia] in this regard,” reads the statement.
“In the light of new international challenges, related to speeding up of Georgia’s integration into NATO, we think that strategic partnership between the Republic of Abkhazia and the Russian Federation needs to be further developed and improved. First and foremost it concerns formation of joint space in defense and security sectors.”
“We would like to declare that regardless of internal political process in the Republic of Abkhazia, strategic partnership between our two states has no alternative and it will develop in a spirit of brotherhood, mutual assistance and respect of sovereignty and independence of Abkhazia.”
“Foundation of this should become a new treaty, which will bring strategic partnership between Abkhazia and Russia to qualitatively new level,” reads the opposition’s statement.