Zakareishvili: Abkhazia Has Never Been Part of Independent Georgia

The Georgian Minister of Reconciliation and Civil Equality, Paata Zakareishvili, last week declared that Abkhazia has never been part of an independent Georgia.

According to the Minister, Georgians and Abkhazians lived together only in the Soviet era. “It is ludicrous to discuss how we imagine Abkhazia as a part of the rest of Georgia,” Zakareishvili said.

As Zakareishvili cited, back in 2004, [they] proposed a model for Abkhazia within the framework of federal Georgia, yet the notion has been abandoned. He said neither the previous nor the current government is discussing the country’s federal arrangement or granting Abkhazia a special status.

From Zakareishvili’s perspective, the federal arrangement based on regionalism is the best way to resolve the conflicts in Georgia; the core of the proposed principle is granting different regions dissimilar statuses. “Abkhazians need to have a special status,” Zakareishvili concluded.

Following the statement, the United National Movement (UNM) held a special press conference regarding the declaration as anti-state “serving to reinforce the 'Russian legends.' UNM' MP Giorgi Kandelaki declared that the Georgian Dream government has neither vision for nor belief in the future of Georgia. "[Zakareishvili] is unaware of his functions" stated Kandelaki, adding, “and is one of many reasons the government must resign.” 

Meanwhile, the Georgian Foreign Ministry this week condemned a military deal between Russia and the breakaway region of Abkhazia over the creation of a joint group of armed forces.

The statement said Abkhazia is an integral part of Georgia and does not represent an independent subject of international law. “Therefore, any attempt to sign an “agreement” with the region is a gross violation of international law and constitutes an illegal action devoid of legal consequences.”

The Georgian Foreign Ministry called upon the international community to give due assessment to Russia’s illegal step and to take appropriate measures in order to prevent further escalation of the fragile security situation in the region.


Abkhazia and Tskhinvali [South Ossetia] are two Georgian regions which have been occupied by the Russian Federation, preventing Georgia and the international community from resolving the conflicts in a peaceful way. Russia utilizes the two breakaway regions for military purposes, having built military bases on the territories.

Before his arrival to the cabinet back in 2012, Minister Zakareishvili served as an independent expert for the conflict regions of Georgia. Representing the Republican Party, currently a major western-oriented team in the Georgian Dream coalition, Zakareishvili appeared as an ambivalence for Georgian society with his Russian-affiliated proposals concerning the occupied regions. In fact, Georgian ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili once called Zakareishvili a “Russian KGB agent.’

Zakareishvili as an expert went further when he claimed Abkhazia, as part of his strategy, should be recognized as an independent state, enabling Abkhazians to determine themselves as a nation, while the people living on the ground represent a minority compared to the Armenians and Russians living in the region.

In the meantime, the Georgian Law on Occupied Territories qualifies Russia as an aggressor, an occupant foreign force on Georgian sovereign territory. The same view is shared by all major international organizations including the UN and NATO, as well as the OSCE, supporting Georgia’s territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.

Zviad Adzinbaia

03 December 2015 22:13