Abkhaz Against Joining Russia

The head of security council of occupied Abkhazia, Sergei Shamba told Russian state-controlled TASS news agency that while Sokhumi supports Russia’s prospective annexation of South Ossetia, the Abkhaz remain in favor of independence.

Shamba’s remarks came as Anatoly Bibilov announced yesterday occupied Tskhinvali will soon take legal steps to secure annexation by Russia.

“This is probably their historical destiny – unification with North Ossetia, a national dream… We only support such aspirations of fraternal South Ossetia,” Shamba noted.

But he said there are no sentiments of joining Russia among Abkhaz political circles and the public, he noted.

“There are no such sentiments in society. We paid a high price for independence… I don’t know any political force in Abkhazia, parties or social movements which would proceed from such a possibility of giving up independence,” Shamba asserted.

The Tskhinvali leader has repeatedly called for Russia’s annexation of the occupied region. But this time, his remarks were preceded by Leonid Pasechik, leader of the Kremlin-controlled Luhansk area of Ukraine, floating the idea to hold a referendum on joining Russia.

Moscow recognized the independence of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region on August 26, 2008, two weeks after the Russo-Georgian war. Syria, Venezuela, Nauru, and Nicaragua are the only other nations that recognize the two regions’ independence from Georgia.

Tbilisi and most of the international community regard the two regions as part of Georgia.

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