Skip to comments.Abkhazia accuses Georgia of piracy, appeals to UN, EU
Posted on 08/19/2009 2:09:08 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
SUKHUMI, August 18 (RIA Novosti) - The Abkhazian president appealed to the UN Security Council and the European Union on Tuesday over the seizure by Georgia of a Turkish tanker carrying fuel to the former Georgian republic.
"On August 16, 2009, Georgian patrol officers seized a commercial vessel en route from Turkey to Abkhazia again. This was the third incident of Georgian piracy this year," Sergei Bagapsh said in a statement.
The Turkish Buket vessel was delivering over 3,000 metric tons of gasoline and 775 metric tons of diesel to Abkhazia, when the incident occurred. Tbilisi, which considers Abkhazia to be part of its own territory, seized the shipments as unauthorized and illegal.
Bagpash accused Georgian authorities of destabilizing the situation in the region and "using all mechanisms for putting political and economic pressure to bear on Abkhazia."
The Abkhaz leader requested the UN Security Council, the EU and French President Nicolas Sarkozy to make a proper assessment of Georgia's actions and assist in recovering the vessel seized by the Georgian patrol.
Bagapsh also threatened "appropriate measures" to protect commercial cargoes bound for Abkhazia in the future.
He also blamed Tbilisi for "numerous" terror attacks, with the latest one claiming two lives in the Abkhaz resort town of Gagry on August 12. The incident coincided with a visit to Abkhazia by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
Next Wednesday, August 26, will mark the first anniversary of Russia's recognition of Abkhazia and another former Georgian republic, South Ossetia, as independent states. So far the only other country to have recognized the two republics is Nicaragua.
President Sergei Bagapsh commented on Sukhumis strategy of building ties beyond Moscow. We have a multi-vector foreign policy. This means trying to forge ties with other countries. We have a large diaspora in Turkey and have worked closely with Turkish business and NGOs. We have had contacts with all levels of government, he told Russia Profile. Other Abkhaz officials discreetly confirmed a meeting with the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan. Abkhazia is important to Turkey and Turkey to Abkhazia because of the large Abkhaz and Circassian diaspora in Turkey (three million plus), and the presence of many of these people in the upper reaches of the government and especially the military and security communities. If Abkhazia makes it as an independent country, and not just a Russian-backed Tuva, it will be because of Turkey more than anything else, said Paul Goble, a former CIA analyst and an expert on Eurasia.