Additional Russian troops deployed in the Abkhaz conflict zone will be deemed as “aggressors” by Tbilisi, Lado Gurgenidze, the Georgian Prime Minister, said on April 29.
“Russia has stated that it plans to increase its peacekeeping contingent up to 3,000 servicemen. I want to say and this is our official position that we do not agree with this decision. We consider it as an extremely irresponsible move against the background of recent development, against Russia’s statement and actions, especially starting from April 16. We think that this move will trigger destabilization in this region. From now on, we will consider any additional soldier or military hardware [in the Abkhaz conflict zone] as illegal, as potential aggressors and a potential source of destabilization,” PM Gurgenidze told journalists after a session of the National Security Council.
The Russian Ministry of Defense said on April 29 that the Georgian side’s “provocative acts” against the Russian peacekeepers, as well as the deployment of additional Georgian troops in the conflict zone had forced it to increase the number of its peacekeepers in the Abkhaz conflict zone. It did not specify the numbers involved, but said they were within the limits set by “international agreements in the frames of decisions of the Council of leaders of CIS member-states.”
August 22, 1994 decision of CIS head of states reads that number of peacekeepers in the Abkhaz conflict zone should be 2,500-3,000.