Georgian Education Ministry said on June 19, that it would provide funding for university education in Georgia and abroad for those residents of breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia who have obtained Georgia’s neutral travel documents or identification cards.
The ministry said in a statement that grants would be available “in frames of various educational programs” upon the initiative of the Georgian government.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during her visit to Georgia on June 5 that the U.S. would start accepting Georgia’s neutral travel documents to allow residents of the breakaway regions to travel to the United States.
Deputy foreign minister of breakaway Abkhazia, Irakli Khintba, said on June 7 that Georgia’s neutral travel documents and identification cards were “a trap” through which Tbilisi “wants to lure” Abkhazians back to its fold.
“We have a confidence in a choice of our citizens and we hope, that they understand how dangerous this proposal by Georgia about neutral documents is. We are sure, that our citizens, who have undergone through bloody war and brutal blockade and who have managed to establish an independent state, will never accept these documents,” Khintba said.
On June 19 Abkhaz leader, Alexander Ankvab, met in Sokhumi with Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Georgia, Ivan Jestřáb. Ankvab told the Czech diplomat that relations between Sokhumi and the West “are now in a kind of stagnation”, Abkhaz news agency Apsnipress reported. He said that the West should understand “that we will never return back to Georgia.”
Also on June 19 the Czech Ambassador met with breakaway region’s Prime Minister Leonid Lakerbaia, who said that the Czech diplomat received “a large amount of information about real situation in Abkhazia.”
“The Czech Republic became the second country after Japan, which has recognized Georgia’s so called neutral passports; of course it would have been better if [the Czech Ambassador] visited Abkhazia before taking such decision [on natural travel documents],” Lakerbaia was quoted as saying by Apsnipress news agency.