Authorities in Sokhumi lambasted Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arsenii Yatseniuk for describing situation in Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia in negative light.
Addressing Ukrainian Parliament on March 11, Yatseniuk invoked Abkhazia while speaking about developments in Crimea and said that criminal gangs, illicit drug and arms trade denominate in Abkhazia, where, he said, people have “no jobs, salary and security.” He said that Russia provided Abkhazia only small fraction of what Moscow was promising in financial aid and even that fraction, Yatseniuk said, was stolen by “criminals” in the separatist government. He also said that Crimea does not deserve the same fate.
Foreign ministry in breakaway Abkhazia released a statement on March 12 saying that Yatseniuk exists in “a special coordinate system” where “extremism and fascist thugs are encouraged.”
It said that Yatseniuk’s description of Abkhazia “is suspiciously similar to malicious falsehood, disseminated about Abkhazia by Georgia’s good-for-nothing former president Mikheil Saakashvili.”
“As it seems it’s no coincidence that this persons, discredited and despised everywhere, including in his native Georgia, is now acting as an advisor to ‘revolutionary’ government of Ukraine,” the breakaway region’s foreign ministry said.
“We would like to remind Arseniy Yatseniuk that the Republic of Abkhazia, although small, is an established state, where government is formed through legitimate constitutional way in free and democratic elections and not as a result of military coup and ‘Maidans’,” it said, adding that since Russia’s recognition in 2008 Abkhazia’s economy has been “expanding 13% annually” and “income of population has increased by 450%.”
“Unlike authorities in Kiev, ethnic and linguistic diversity is being treated with care in our country. Chauvinistic principles are unacceptable for Abkhazia,” it said.
Like in Georgia’s another breakaway region of South Ossetia, political parties and various groups in Abkhazia too have voiced their support to Russia’s moves in Ukraine.
“In the existing circumstance, citizens residing on the territory of the autonomous republic [of Crimea] have the right to independently choose their future fate and political status of the peninsula in line with universal right of peoples and nations for self-determination,” breakaway Abkhazia’s foreign ministry said.