Milana Tsvizhba: Abkhazia Shuts Doors to Those Questioning Sovereignty

Milana Tsvizhba, Head of the Press Service at the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Abkhazia.

Milana Tsvizhba, Head of the Press Service at the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Abkhazia.

SUKHUM / AQW'A — Milana Tsvizhba, Head of the Press Service at the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Abkhazia, has responded to statements made by Toivo Klaar, the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus. Klaar had previously reported being denied a visa by Abkhazian authorities on two occasions, leading to his remark, “Today we have however arrived at a situation where Abkhazia seems to be closing down.”

Tsvizhba's comments, published under the title "Toivo Klaar's Georgian Dream," criticise Klaar's statement as exposing the failure of Western collective policy in Abkhazia. She argues, “Mr. Klaar’s commitment to ‘engagement without recognition’ plainly reveals the involvement of both international and Abkhazian NGOs in pursuing this agenda. The emphasis on fostering dialogue between Abkhazians and Georgians across the so-called dividing lines fails to acknowledge these as legitimate state borders.”

Addressing Klaar’s frequent visits to Abkhazia, Tsvizhba notes, “Despite his numerous visits, Mr. Klaar seems to have overlooked our history. His statements only reiterate the misguided stance of the collective West and the EU.”

She further demands that Klaar refrain from using the "misleading and provocative toponym" of "Sukhumi," and asserts, “European, American, and Georgian officials must realise that we will permanently close our doors to those who perceive us as an 'occupied territory.'” (In August 1936, a new legislation titled 'On the Correct Typeface Names of Settlements' was introduced. This law mandated a change in toponyms across Abkhazia, shifting them from Abkhaz or Russian language spelling to Georgian rules. As a result, the capital of Abkhazia, known as Sukhum, officially became Sukhumi. See: The Great Terror in Abkhazia (Abkhaz ASSR, 1937 - 1938) Vol. II p.204 —Ed.)

Tsvizhba reaffirms Abkhazia's intention to actively participate in the Geneva International Discussions on Security and Stability in the Caucasus, aiming for outcomes that respect the state sovereignty and equal dialogue principles of the Republic of Abkhazia.

The Foreign Ministry of Abkhazia predicts further disappointment for Toivo Klaar in the near future. Inal Ardzinba, the head of the ministry, is set to address what is seen as an infringement on Abkhazia's national interests.

Toivo Klaar's statement from December 26, which noted his inability to visit Abkhazia at the end of January 2024, highlighted the undesirable impact of Russia's war against Ukraine on Abkhazia. Klaar emphasised that compromising Abkhazia's openness would not serve the interests of its population and would only aggravate existing challenges.




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