The Abkhazian leadership's statement on the possibility of associated relations with Russia needs no serious discussion. Thus, deputy chairman of the international committee of the federation council /upper house/ Mikhail Margelov commented on the recent statement by prime minister Anri Dzhergenia of the unrecognised Abkhazian republic. According to Margelov, the Russian constitution rules out the possibility of associated states within the Russian Federation. The CIS charter does admit an associated membership but Abkhazia is not an independent state, Mikhail Margelov stressed. In his words, the Russian president made it clear that Russia viewed the Abkhaz problem as Georgia's internal affair.