Vladimir Putin expressed his point of view on the events that are currently taking place in the unrecognized republic of Abkhazia. Putin’s viewpoint surely contained the state's position on the issue. The speech was sensational!
“Georgian territorial integrity must be guaranteed. Russia considers the conflict between Georgia and Abkhazia as the political problem of the inner character. Russia does not intend to become involved in the conflicts on the territory of third countries.”
This was said by the Russian poresident today at a press conference in Moscow. The President stated that Russia intends to fulfill its obligations on withdrawing its troops from the Russian base in Abkhazia despite any internal political problems of Georgia connected with Abkhazia. “I would like to stress this once again: the Russian troops will be called off."
The head of the state also claimed that Russia was not going to undertake anything but to fortify the Russian-Georgian border along its whole length.
This is an amazing and surprising event – Russia is yielding up the pro-Russian Abkhazia, its ally in the Caucasus, its entry to the Black Sea without a battle. In other words – it’s your problem – do it yourself. At the same time, Russia is taking the evident pro-Georgian position, which is very good for Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze; in spite of the fact that Georgia is hiding the Chechen gunmen on its territory, that the Chechen commander Gelayev is waging war in Abkhazia.
It seems that Russia must interfere in this situation. Simple political and diplomatic steps (not necessarily the military steps) could stop the bloodshed. Georgia was not likely to quarrel with the Russian peacemakers – this is fraught with serious consequences and Georgia will deliberately lose (moreover, at least USA and Israel will be on Russia’s side).
In the case that Russia calls its troops off from Abkhazia, Tbilisi (the capital of Georgia republic) will be able to do what it wants. So what is going on?