De facto Abkhazia Claims to Have Opened Representation in Italy

De-facto Deputy Foreign Minister of Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia, Kan Tania, stated that a diplomatic representation of Abkhazia has been opened in Italy.

Tania made the statement in Italy, while paying an “official” working visit there.

“At a press conference with local media, we announced the completion of all procedures for the official registration of the diplomatic representation of the Republic of Abkhazia in Italy and concurrently in the European Union. We are an official legal entity," Tania told Sputnik Abkhazia.

The representative of the puppet regime said he arrived in Italy to complete the registration of the “diplomatic representation” of Abkhazia in Italy.

He added that the “representation” office will not have a classic diplomatic function as it is not yet accredited, since Italy has not yet recognized the independence of Abkhazia.

“Nevertheless, we will continue to work. Our goal is to introduce the position of Abkhazia to the international community," he said, adding the so-called representation will be a bridge that will bring Abkhazians and Italians closer.

De-facto Deputy Foreign Minister said the “representation” office will promote breakaway Abkhazia at all levels: socio-cultural, sports and educational, and will take part in presentations, exhibitions, international championships and festivals. He said it will also provide exchange programs for Abkhazian and foreign students.

Tania also noted that after recognition of Abkhazia's independence by a number of countries, the republic began to develop relations with many, including Italy.

“After we appointed Vito Grittanni Ambassador of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Abkhazia in Italy in 2015, relations between our countries have improved and opportunities expanded," he said.

Tania claimed that in 2016-2017 the Association ‘Europe-Abkhazia’ was registered in Italy, aimed at promoting Abkhazia on all socio-cultural levels, registration of the representation of the Chamber of Commerce of Abkhazia in Italy was carried out and an Abkhaz Cultural Institute was opened in Rome.

The Deputy Foreign Minister of Abkhazia told Sputnik Abkhazia that during his visit to Italy he was awarded a diploma of Goodwill Ambassador of the International Diplomatic Observatory.

“I was presented with a diploma for my services in diplomatic activities in the field of establishing relations between the Italian and Abkhaz peoples…I am very pleased that they appreciated my work," Tania said.

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to Italy, Karlo Sikharulidze, denied that a diplomatic representation of Abkhazia had opened in Italy, calling it “nonsense and misinformation”.

The Ambassador explained that the so-called Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Abkhazia held a press conference in the Italian city of Bar, which had nothing to do with the municipal authorities.

Russia and Nicaragua recognized Abkhazia’s independence in 2008 in the wake of the Russia-Georgia August war. In 2009 Venezuela, Vanuatu, Nauru and Tuvalu took the same step.

After several years, Vanuatu and Tuvalu revoked their recognition and now declare Abkhazia and Tskhinvali as integral parts of Georgia.

The rest of the international community recognizes Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) as integral parts of Georgia.

Thea Morrison

30 November 2017 18:11