Georgia will not yield to Russian provocations, but will stand firm in defending its interests, Nino Burjanadze, the parliamentary speaker, said on November 12.
Her remarks followed an earlier Georgian allegation that Russia had deployed additional troops and military hardware in Abkhazia. Five T-72 battle tanks; five GRAD-type multiple rocket launchers; five armored vehicles and seven howitzers, as well as 200 servicemen of Chechen origin were deployed in Ochamchire, according to Davit Bakradze, the state minister for conflict resolution issues.
“Russia is trying to capitalize on the situation in Georgia , which Russia itself created,” Burjanadze said.
“We will not take any provocative steps. The Georgian authorities are willing to settle the conflicts peacefully, through political means. But if someone tries to use the current difficult political situation for the dismemberment of Georgia, for the recognition of Abkhazia, I will answer them: the absolute majority of Georgia, except for those traitors, who are in the pockets of Russia, will stand together to defend their country.”
She also strongly condemned a recent statement by Yuri Luzhkov, the mayor of Moscow, who called for the recognition of Abkhazia’s independence.
“When they [Russian politicians] call for the dismemberment of Georgia, it raises an obvious question: why not dismember Russia? And why should the Abkhaz nation enjoy privileges not afforded to Chechens, Dagestanis, North Ossetians and other peoples of [the North Caucasus] republics?,” Burjanadze asked.