STATEMENT OF THE PARLIAMENT OF GEORGIA ON RESOLUTION "The necessity of Normalization with regard to Border and Customs regimes on the Abkhaz Segment of State Border", adopted by the Russian State Duma on 24 July 1998

The Parliament of Georgia considers this resolution as an unacceptable act taken by the Russian State Duma and direct interference into internal affairs of Georgia.

The resolution has been adopted at the time when extremely tense negotiations between Sukhumi and Tbilisi are taking place on the subject of peaceful settlement of conflict in Abkhazia, in which high-rank Russian diplomats are playing an active role. Deputies of the State Duma can not fail to understand that any unilateral action makes the negotiation process more difficult and questions the viability and authority of Russia, as an unbiased mediator of the negotiation process.

The Parliament of Georgia considers the aforementioned resolution of the Russian State Duma as the continuation of ugly tradition practiced by the State Duma of previous convention and the former Supreme Council of the Russian Federation. That practice had been repeatedly manifested through adoption of non-friendly, sometimes manifestly hostile decisions, which contributed to the violation of territorial integrity of Georgia, ethnic cleansing and genocide of Georgian population in Abkhazia.

It is crystal clear that the aforementioned resolution aims to further deteriorate the already extremely tense situation established after the so-called May events in Abkhazia and the whole Georgia, to give new impetus to the existing conflict, further strengthen the syndrome of  mutual suspicion and distrust, which, unfortunately, after these events had become so vivid in Georgia-Russian relations.

In fact, by adopting that resolution, the Russian State Duma supports separatism, justifies the crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Abkhaz separatist in the late May and makes doubtful Russia's commitment to the international law and fundamental principles of the United Nations and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Through its resolution, the Russian State Duma demands from the Russian President to unilaterally change, without Georgia's consent, the border and custom regimes on the Abkhaz segment of Georgia-Russia state border. At the same time, that resolution belittles the authority of the Commonwealth of Independent States and blocks the process of development of mutually beneficial integration within the Commonwealth. Against this background, frequent statements voiced in the State Duma in favor of integration, are useless and false, since healthy integration process could be only developed on the principle of mutual respect for each other's interests.

Unacceptable and unilateral acts, rude interference into internal affairs of sovereign state would completely destroy the foundation for Georgian-Russian relations and force Georgia to take adequate measures.

26 June 1998, Tbilisi

(Abkhaz Issue in Official Documents, Legislative and Executive organs of Georgia, International Organizations, 1989-1999, part II, 1995-1999; authors: Vakhtang Kholbaia, Teimuraz Chakhrakia, Rafiel Gelantia, David Latsuzbaia, Tb., 2000, p. 224-225)