De Facto Abkhazia Denounces Removal of Their Monument in Scotland

The de facto Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia, has released a statement regarding the decision of the authorities in the Scottish town of Kilmarnock - to dismantle a memorial stone dedicated to victims in separatist-held Sokhumi during the 1992-1993 Abkhazian war.

The de facto ministry stressed that the removal of the monument was the initiative of official Tbilisi, assessing the fact as ‘barbaric moves by the Georgian leadership and another vivid confirmation of the aggressive and anti-humane character of the Georgian policy towards Abkhazia and its people.’

“This behavior of the official authorities of Georgia is regarded as an act of vandalism aimed at destroying the historical memory of the Abkhaz people, against whom Georgia committed ethnic cleansing and genocide,” the statement of the so called ministry reads.

The ‘ministry’ also assures that in October 1992, in occupied Sokhumi, Georgian authorities burned down and destroyed buildings of the Abkhaz Institute of Language, Literature and History, and the State Archives of Abkhazia, adding “as a result of these barbaric actions, unique documents on the history and culture of Abkhazia were destroyed.”

The exact date of construction of the memorial is unknown, as the representatives on the local city council have long since changed, but is estimated that it was built somewhere around 1993-1996.

Georgian ambassador to the United Kingdom, Tamar Beruchashvili, said that last month, when she paid a visit to Scotland, she had meetings with local authorities, parliament and other groups.

“We were promised that the Scottish authorities would talk to the local government of the city of Kilmarnock and explain the situation to them. They got full information, shared the position of the British state towards the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia and the local council decided to dismantle this monument several days ago. This is definitely a good result. We really have the opportunity to find and neutralize similar cases based on trust and cooperation with our partners," Beruchashvili explains.

“One of the main tasks of the Embassy of Georgia, and general Georgian diplomacy, is to use all means against the efforts of the Russian government to propagate the so-called independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia,” she added.

By Thea Morrison

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