PM of breakaway Abkhazia, Sergey Shamba, said that Sokhumi had rejected a proposal which was received from Moscow on restoration of property rights of Russian citizens in Abkhazia, news agency Apsnipress reported on August 20.
Shamba made the remarks when commenting on an article published in the Abkhaz newspaper Nuzhnaya, which accused the Abkhaz leadership of "anti-state and anti-Abkhaz" actions for considering a proposal on "the concept of a joint Russian-Abkhaz commission on restoration of property rights of the Russia citizens in Abkhazia." The article says that the concept would pave the way for the return of thousands of those Georgians, who fled Abkhazia after the armed conflict in early 90s and who now reside in Russia, holding Russian passports.
"I knew nothing about this concept before reading this article. I got interested and when asked about it in the President's administration, I found out that this draft was received from the Russian MFA [Ministry of Foreign Affairs] without bearing registration number; it was attached with a letter. It is unclear whose proposal it is. As I was told in the President's administration and as the President himself confirmed, the draft was immediately rejected as not worthy to be discussed and there is a relevant presidential resolution," Shamba said.
He said that this "biased and malicious" newspaper article was "a direct slander of the government", which should be studied by the prosecutor's office.
Nuzhnaya Gazeta is one of only a few independent newspapers in Abkhazia and is a partner of Conciliation Resources (CR), a UK-based NGO which is funded through grants from governments, independent trusts and foundations. Having collaborated on journalism training and enabled the work of a small pool of regional correspondents, they now support a distribution network to deliver Nuzhnaya Gazeta and other newspapers to rural areas.
For more information on Conciliation Resources' broad range of acivities in the region contact Jonathan Cohen, Director of Programmes.