Georgian ex-president: Russia holds key to resolving conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia
Georgia, Tbilisi, Sept. 5 / Trend N. Kirtskhalia /
By refusing to establish relations with Moscow, officials in Tbilisi say "no" to the reunification of South Ossetia and Abkhazia with Georgia, the Georgian ex-President Eduard Shevardnadze said in an interview with Georgian weekly "Asaval-Dasavali."
"I reiterate that it's Russia who has the key to resolving the conflict in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, rather than Washington and the EU," Shevardnadze said. "They make statements supporting Georgia. We must settle relations with Moscow and return these territories. It is an axiom."
Shevardnadze said that the new so-called President of Abkhazia Alexander Ankvab will fail to resolve the issue. He fully depends on Moscow and has no leverage for reconciliation with Georgia.
"[Ankvab] worked as the Georgian Deputy Interior Minister. I knew him as a decent young man. It was not the first time when the Abkhazians held senior positions in Georgia. Unfortunately, there is no such trend now.
Military actions were launched in the unrecognized republic of South Ossetia in August 2008. Georgian troops entered Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia and later Russian troops occupied the city and drove the Georgian military back to Georgia. Russia recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia on Aug. 26 and established diplomatic relations with them on Sept. 9, 2008.