De Facto Ex-PM of Breakaway Abkhazia: Georgians Are Not Our Enemies

Former “Prime Minister’ of Georgia’s Russian-Backed breakaway region of Abkhazia, Sergey Shamba says Georgians are not his enemies and he has many friends in Georgia.

Shamba told Echo Moskvi that he was the leader in the fight against Georgia but now thinks that the breakaway leadership of occupied Abkhazia should launch dialogue with the Georgian side.

“We need to think about a joint future because we are neighboring countries…I mean not only Georgia among the neighboring countries. There were conflicts among European states too. They were fighting each other. But there is always time to settle the relationship. I think now this kind of dialogue with Georgia can be started," he noted.

The politician believes the only way to start the dialogue is within the frames of the Geneva International Discussions.

“We should not miss the opportunity. We should start talks,” he added.

Shamba spoke about the events in 1992-1993 and recalled talks with Georgia, which eventually ended without consensus. The Abkhaz politician said that they were hoping to negotiate with Georgia during the Abkhaz War.

"We hoped that we would reach at least some form of agreement. We were committed to federal relations too. Then there were talks about the confederation agreement. However, Georgia rejected all of these suggestions. We were very close to consensus. However, in the end it turned out that the Georgian side did not accept any proposal," Shamba stated.

Shamba is a senior politician who currently is a member of the so called People's Assembly of Abkhazia, and Chairman of “United Abkhazia.”

He was so called Prime Minister of breakaway Abkhazia under de facto President Sergei Bagapsh from 13 February 2010 until 27 September 2011.

Between 1997 and 2010, he was de facto Minister for Foreign Affairs under both Bagapsh and his predecessor Vladislav Ardzinba, with only a half-year interruption in 2004. Shamba has twice unsuccessfully participated in so called presidential elections of the breakaway region, in 2004 and 2011.

By Thea Morrison

Photo source: 1TV

16 August 2018 12:00