Russia Abolished Sanctions Against Abkhazia / News / News agency Inforos
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Russia Abolished Sanctions Against Abkhazia

On March 6, 2008 the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs officially notified the Executive Council of the Community of Independent States that due to the changed circumstances the Russian Federation does not consider itself bound by Resolution of the CIS Council of Heads of State “On Measures for Settlement of Conflict in Abkhazia, Georgia” dated January 19, 1996. This Resolution bans any state-regulated trade-economic, financial, transport and other ties with Abkhazia.

It is well-known that the said Resolution was adopted in 1996 against the background of acute confrontation of parties in the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict after the bloody war of 1992-1993. That time the goal of the Resolution was to encourage Abkhazia to take a more flexible position first of all with respect to the safe return of refugees and displaced persons.

Today, the situation has radically changed. The majority of Georgian refugees returned to the Gali District of Abkhazia. Further progress is hampered by Georgian denial of their registration procedure proposed by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

As for the participation in conflict settlement, the Abkhaz party performs its main commitments. It is ready to take practical steps to strengthen confidence and security in the zone of conflict. Against this background the Georgian party fails to demonstrate a similar constructive approach to fulfillment of the agreements. Moreover, it actually undermines the negotiation process by establishing a Tbilisi-controlled administrative structure in the upper Kodori Valley in Abkhazia.

In these circumstances the bans imposed by the aforesaid Resolution completely lose their sense, obstruct implementation of the social-economic projects in the region, and adjudge the Abkhaz people to unjustified hardship.

The abolishment of the sanctions with respect to Abkhazia complies with the established international practice of gradual mitigation and abolishment of enforcement measures provided the addressee fulfill the respective demands of the international community. The UN Secretary General's Group of Friends of Georgia also spoke in favor of this step, and its recommendations were supported by the UN Security Council.

The Russian Foreign Ministry’s note invites the CIS member-states to take similar steps and abandon the sanctions imposed against Abkhazia in 1996 (official site of the Russian Foreign Ministry).
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