Source Pravda.Ru

Foreign Ministry prepares response to Georgian demarche

The Russian Foreign Ministry is studying the situation after Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili's latest statement about Abkhazia, the Foreign Ministry's Information and Press Department told RIA Novosti.

The department said that currently, the ministry was preparing an appropriate statement.

On Tuesday, Mr. Saakashvili said that he had ordered that every vessel attempting to enter Abkhazia without permission from the Georgian government be fired on and sunk.

"Just as Georgian boats cannot be in Russia's territorial waters," he said, "Russian boats cannot go to Abkhazia's shores without our permission."

He advised Russian tourists not to spend summer vacations on Abkhazia's shores.

"I want Russian tourists to pay special attention to my words," he said. "When the situation changes and we come to terms and a new leaf is turned over, we will be glad to see Russian tourist and be ready to accept them with open arms. But if you want to come from Sochi to Abkhazia in boats today, you better keep in mind what happened last Saturday, when Georgian border guards opened fire at a vessel."

The new Georgian leaders will not tolerate the status quo, when a rebellious province - the self-proclaimed republic of Abkhazia - has been outside Georgia's jurisdiction for over a decade, and its leadership wishes to continue to remain independent of Georgia. The exercises conducted by the Abkhazian armed forces caused another round of anti-Abkhazian hysteria in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi. The Georgian government regarded these military exercises as preparations for a war.