Sokhumi is ready to sign a military agreement with Russia to protect itself “against Georgian aggression,” Abkhaz Foreign Minister Sergey Shamba said on April 28.
“It's no secret that Georgia is continuing to boost its military forces,” Apsnypress news agency quoted Shamba as saying. “But we are not going to sit idly by.”
“We are ready to protect Russia’s interests in this region in exchange for Russia’s military protection and open economic cooperation,” Shamba told RIA Novosti news agency.
He added that Abkhazia was willing to pursue Russian military interests in the region.
Sokhumi’s statement followed a statement by President Saakashvili last week, in which he said that the Russian peacekeeping operation in the conflict zones should be altered to strengthen the UN mandate. Saakashvili’s statement was preceded by a Russian decision to establish legal links with Abkhazia and South Ossetia.