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Poland Denounces Abkhazia, S. Ossetia Polls

Poland strongly condemns the closure of two checkpoints (Nabakevi-Khurcha and Meore Otobaia-Orsantia) and holding of “the so called parliamentary elections” in Abkhazia, as well as the “so called “presidential elections” and a “referendum” in the Tskhinvali/South Ossetia region,” the Polish Foreign Ministry said in a statement on March 14.

The closure and the polls are “provocative and illegal under international law,” MFA added, as they run “against the official position of the government in Tbilisi," and are conducted "by the unrecognized separatist authorities of Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali/South Ossetia region, in a part of Georgian territory that has been under occupation for over eight years.”

The Foreign Ministry also reaffirmed Poland’s “unchanging position” on Georgia’s territorial integrity, “which was violated by the Russian aggression in August 2008,” as well as the “the need to restore the legitimate Georgian government’s jurisdiction over the entire state territory within its internationally recognized borders, and the non-recognition of the separatist authorities of Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali/South Ossetia region or their actions.”

“Actions by the unrecognized separatist authorities of Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali/South Ossetia region are not conducive to settling a complex security situation in the region, while also hampering the Geneva talks and undermining efforts by the Georgian government to reintegrate the country within the borders which are recognized by the international community,” the statement said.

At the same time, MFA went on, “the Polish side strongly objects to any actions preparing the ground for creeping annexation of sovereign Georgia’s territory, which could lead to escalating tensions in the Southern Caucasus.”

The Polish Foreign Ministry urged all participants in the Geneva International Discussions “to use diplomatic instruments and work out a political solution to the problem of Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali/South Ossetia region, which remain an integral part of the Georgian State.”

Voters in Abkhazia cast their ballots on March 12 to elect the region’s 35-member National Assembly.

Voters in South Ossetia will go to polls on April 9 to elect their new leader. Simultaneously with presidential polls, Tskhinvali will also hold a referendum on renaming the region to “the South Ossetia – the State of Alania,” which drew wide criticism in Tbilisi.

Elections in these two regions are denounced as illegitimate by Tbilisi and the international community, except of Russia and few other countries, which have recognized the region.

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