Tbilisi, Georgia, Sept.17
By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:
The de facto government of the breakaway region of Abkhazia in Georgia is claiming payments of $20 billion from Tbilisi for damages caused as a result of the 1992-93 war, according to information disseminated by the Russian media quoting a representative of the separatist authorities of Abkhazia Otar Tsvizhba.
In response, the State Minister of Georgia for reconciliation and equality, Paata Zakareishvili said Sept.17 that Tbilisi will allocate funds for the development of Abkhazia when the territorial integrity of Georgia is restored.
"Abkhazia is a part of Georgia, and the government will allocate funds needed for the development of the region when there is reconciliation and restoration of territorial integrity," he said, noting that Sukhumi is trying to find new reasons for confrontation, as Tbilisi shows no aggressive intentions with respect to the separatist territories.
Hostilities between Georgia and Abkhazia began 14 August 1992, which grew into a war with the use of aircraft, artillery and other weapons. Start of the military phase of the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict was the reason for Georgian troops to enter Abkhazia.
The aim of the Government of Georgia was to establish control over part of its territory and the preservation of its integrity. The purpose of the Abkhaz authorities was empowering of autonomy rights and ultimately gaining of independence of Abkhazia.
Large scale military action was launched in South Ossetia on August 8, 2008. Later, Russian troops occupied Tskhinvali and expelled the Georgian military.
Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in late August. In response, Tbilisi ended diplomatic relations with Moscow and has called the two unrecognized republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia occupied territories.