(Tbilisi, January 11, Civil Georgia) – Georgia does not intend to withdraw military units from Kodori gorge, the only territory in Abkhazia controlled by the Georgian government in the breakaway region of Abkhazia.
Abkhazian unrecognized government states that in case approximately 350 Georgian soldiers do not leave the gorge till February, Abkhazia will set order by all means in the gorge.
Russia and UN Secretary-General’s special envoy for the Abkhazian conflict Dieter Boden also demand from Georgia to withdraw military units from Kodori gorge.
Georgian Foreign Affairs Minister Irakli Menagarishvili stated on January 10 that Georgian government would not endanger Georgian Population of the gorge with the army’s withdrawal.
Georgian Defense Ministry is also against army units’ withdrawal. Deputy Defense Minister Gela Bezhuashvili states that Georgia will not act according to the Abkhazian ultimatum.
Defense Ministry dispatched additional forces to Kodori gorge in October 2001, during the armed clashes between the Abkhazian fighters and combined Chechen-Georgian guerrillas, to protect Georgian population of the gorge.