Duma int’l committee Head believes in close resz of Adzhar conflict

RIA Novosti, Russia
March 22 2004


MOSCOW, March 22, 2004 – RIA Novosti. The conflict around Adzharia
(autonomy within Georgia) is probably close to resolution, Konstantin
Kosachev, chairman of the State Duma international committee, told
journalists on Monday.

“One cannot but feel satisfied with the conflict around Adzharia
returning from the hot stage to a cold one,” Kosachev noted.

At the same time he recalled that the only document regulating the
status of Adzharia as autonomy within Georgia is the Treaty of Kars
of 1921, which remains valid up to this day.

According to Kosachev, the recent statements by some representatives
of Georgia and Turkey that a number of the Treaty’s provisions have
become invalid due to the changed international situation are
“juridically incorrect”.

“The basic documents of the Potsdam Conference, as well as the Vienna
Convention of 1969 “About the Right of International Treaties” have a
reference to this document as a treaty regulating the borders of the
autonomy, and this allows to speak that the Treaty of Kars keeps its
legal force,” the deputy said.

In accordance with the Treaty of Kars signed in 1921 between Turkey,
on the one side, and Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, on the other
with Russia’s participation, Turkey waived its claims to Adzharia,
which was again becoming part of Georgia.

In line with this treaty, Georgia was to ensure autonomy to Adzharia
to the greatest possible extent – cultural, religious and national up
to the granting to it the right of adopting its own laws.

Under this Treaty Georgia also undertook to ensure free transit of
cargoes via Adzharia’s Black Sea port of Batumi.