World » Former USSR
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Georgian president promises to shoot Russian tourists

The president ordered to open fire on all vessels arriving to Abkhazia

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has released another harsh statement against separatists. This time he expressed his opinion about Abkhazia, not South Ossetia. Moreover, the problem was not about the mutual relations with the government of the unrecognized republic. The Georgian president talked about Russian tourists.

On the eve of the 'velvet' season Saakashvili advised Russian citizens not to plan any holidays in Abkhazia. “The territory soaked with Georgians' blood, on which they played football with Georgians' heads, is not a holiday place for so-called Russian tourists,” Saakashvili stated at a press conference on Tuesday night.

The president added, he ordered to open fire and sink all vessels, which attempt to enter Abkhazian ports without Georgia's permission. “Georgian ships are not allowed to appear in the Russian waters without Russia's permission. Russian ships will not be allowed to appear near the Abkhazian coast either,” Saakashvili was quoted as saying.

”I would like Russian tourists to pay attention to my words. When everything changes, when we come to agreement, when we turn this page over, we will be happy to see Russian tourists in Abkhazia. However, if they wish to come to Abkhazia from Sochi (a Russian resort city) by boat, they will have to make up with what happened last Saturday, when Georgian border guards opened fire on a boat,” the Georgian president said in a statement. Last Saturday Georgian border guards opened fire on the Turkish dry-cargo ship heading to the Abkhazian port of Sukhumi.

Spokesman for the Georgian Coast Guard Koba Bochorishvili said the Georgian Navy was ready to execute the president's order. “The president ordered us to stop vessels in the territorial waters of Abkhazia and to open fire on them in case of insubordination. Bochorishvili added the order also referred to passenger boats sailing from Sochi to Sukhumi. The official said border guards would not open fire on people, “but there are a lot of ways to wreck a transgressing vessel,” he added.

Abkhazian authorities estimated the statement from the Georgian president as an act of governmental terrorism. Abkhazian Defense Minister Vyacheslav Eshba stated the republic's navy would do its best to guarantee security for vessels arriving to Abkhazia. “Mr. Saakashvili can do what he pleases at home. As for the territory of Abkhazia, he has nothing to do with it,” the minister was quoted by Interfax as saying. According to the Abkhazian defense minister, tourists will be safe at Abkhazian resorts.

The Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry also commented on the statement from the Georgian president. It was particularly said an adequate reaction would follow any attempt against Russian citizens' lives. “Such statements prove the Georgian authorities start losing the feeling of reality of the modern world,” a statement from the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry ran.

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