Paper: Bagapsh Inauguration Turned into ‘Forum of Separatists’

Paper: Bagapsh Inauguration Turned into ‘Forum of Separatists’
/ Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 2005-02-14 13:01:22

Civil Georgia, Georgia
Feb 14 2005

An article published on February 14 by the Russian daily Kommersant
described the presidential inauguration ceremony of Sergey Bagapsh in
the breakaway Abkhazia as a “forum of separatists, which was openly
backed by Russia.”

Delegations from secessionist regions of South Ossetia, Transdnestria
and Nagorny-Karabakh, as well as officials from the Russia’s North
Caucasus Republics and regions, representatives from Moscow’s
Mayors office and a group of Russian parliamentarians attended the
inauguration ceremony in the Abkhaz capital Sokhumi on February 12,
Kommersant reported.

“Only representatives of the Chechen Republic were absent, because
Chechen separatism is not backed by Russia and their presence would
have been a vivid demonstration of Russia’s double standard policy,”
the paper says.

Georgia’s other secessionist region of South Ossetia was represented
by the de facto President of the region, Eduard Kokoity.

“Abkhazia will be an independent and strong state. Many react badly
to the relationship between the Republic of South Ossetia and the
Republic of Abkhazia. I want to tell them: we will continue the
traditions historically launched by our ancestors, which are directed
at strengthening the friendship and brotherhood between our peoples.
We will multiply these traditions; we will cooperate for the sake
of the future of our peoples, for the sake of strengthening the
independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia,” the Kommersant quoted
Kokoity as saying.

“Today we not only welcome the President of Abkhazia, it can be said,
that a forum of the entire North Caucasus has gathered here today.
Certain forces try to dictate new rules for cooperation within the
Caucasus. I want to tell these forces: nobody will ever teach us –
Abkhazians, Adigeis, Kabardians, Balkarians, Karachay-Cherkessia’s,
Daghestanis, Ossetians and Russians – how to live. And let everybody
know that they will fail to agitate the situation. I hope we will
prove to everybody that the Caucasus is not a ground for experiments.
Long Live the Republic of Abkhazia! Long Live the Republic of South
Ossetia! Long Live our Union with great Russia,” Kokoity stated.

In his inaugural speech Sergey Bagapsh stressed that Abkhazia will
be open for investment and for becoming “an important international
transit” territory. “We are ready to discuss these issues with every
state interested in it. But with one condition – the unconditional
respect for [the] independence [of Abkhazia],” Sergey Bagapsh added.