Georgia’s so-called plan to cooperate with Abkhazia is more than a decade too late. Access to broader trade and commerce, education, healthcare, and cultural interaction are all universally accepted confidence building measures. Abkhazia offered the same ideas in 1997, and Georgia dismissed them. Let me be clear. Abkhazia will never again be part of Georgia, and its people will not give up their citizenship for empty promises from an untrustworthy and hostile neighboring Government. We believe there are some among the Georgian people who would welcome engagement with a free and independent Abkhazia. If enough of those people can choose their leadership in democratic elections, as we in Abkhazia have done three times, maybe there will come a time when we can attain peace and stability in our region.
— Sergei Bagapsh, President, The Republic of Abkhazia, February 1, 2010