Abkhazia pushes for independence

While Georgia's breakaway republic of Abkhazia is calling on Russia and the international community to recognise it as a sovereign state. Meanwhile, Tbilisi has protested against Russia's lifting of the economic sanctions against Abkhazia.

At a special session of the republic's parliament the deputies tabed two major documents. They plan to send a special delegation to Moscow to discuss the issue with their colleagues from the Russian parliament.

Another appeal for the recognition of Abkhazia will be sent to the United Nations Secretary General.

Abkhazia's President, Sergey Bagapsh, says that although Kosovo's independence sets a precedent, the current move of the republic is not directly linked with it.

“Kosovo has just boosted everything. We've made similar appeals before. In 1999 we held a nation-wide referendum on independence. Kosovo is a precedent and we will work in that direction but Abkhazia has never linked its independence with Kosovo's recognition,” he stated.

Meanwhile, Vyacheslav Kovalenko, the Russian Ambassador in Tbilisi, was summoned to the Georgian Foreign Ministry where he was handed a note of protest against Russia’s decision to lift economic sanctions on the breakaway republic of Abkhazia.

Georgia saw Russia's move as encouraging separatism and as an infringement of Georgia's sovereignty.

The sanctions were imposed in 1996 by countries of the CIS  following the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict. They affected trade, transport and the economy of the republic.

Now the Russian Foreign Ministry says the sanctions are no longer needed as Abkhazia is making every effort to solve its conflict with Georgia.

Russia has called on Georgia to support the initiative and lift the sanctions as well.