Manipulation the situation in the conflict zones with the so-called Tbilisi-loyal authorities both in Abkhazia and South Ossetia during the peace process “is a very dangerous provocation” and the March 11 incident in the Tbilisi-controlled upper Kodori Gorge confirms this, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said in an interview with the Russian daily Izvestia published on March 15.
Tbilisi relocated its Abkhaz government-in-exile to upper Kodori Gorge last September. Self-imposed South Ossetia leader Dimitri Sanakoev’s administration, also loyal to Tbilisi, was installed in the Georgian village of Kurta near the breakaway South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali last November.
“In South Ossetia, where ‘alternative’ structures are located in immediate proximity to Tskhinvali, the situation is even more explosive. It is less possible that anyone believes in the long-term potential of this diarchy in the republic,” the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister said.
“The promotion of the activities of ‘alternative’ [Tbilisi-loyal South Ossetian leader] Dimitri Sanakoev is a provocation aimed at undermining the actually existing government of Eduard Kokoity [secessionist leader of South Ossetia]. Any kind of action triggers a reaction, and all of these kinds of maneuvers and gambits are very dangerous,” Karasin added.
He said that through installing ‘alternative’ authorities in the conflict zones, Tbilisi has created an additional “irritant factor.”
“The Kodori incident would hardly have occurred if Tbilisi had not housed a virtual ‘government’ there that has recently been presented as the legitimate authorities of Abkhazia,” Karasin said.