Interviews

Vakhtang Kolbaia: “Our duty is to bequeath the future generations Georgia, our country that is united and indivisible”

25 years have passed since the beginning of armed conflict in Abkhazia. Tens of thousands of civilians and soldiers have been killed by military confrontation and three hundred thousand people have become displaced.

Regarding the events of August 14 spoke the Acting Chair of Government of the A/R of Abkhazia, Vakhtang Kolbaia.

"Yes, Abkhazia and Samachablo is Georgia, these words should often be mentioned by Abkhazians, Ossetians, Georgians and other nations. Our friends and enemies should know that Georgia will never tolerate the fact and will never give up its territories. This is our history, culture, our past and future."

"Our duty is to bequeath the future generations Georgia, our country that is united and indivisible". Therefore, we should never forget the terrible days of the war. Only peace and peaceful environment is the guarantee of our future rapprochement.

Mr. Vakhtang, every year we are talking about the hardest events of the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict on August 14th, remembering the tragic war chronicles of the heroes killed in the war at the memorial.

25 years ago the chronology and sequence of Georgian-Abkhazian unity was violated. August 14, separated everything built for centuries between the two nations, the great Georgians and the Abkhazians. Constantly reminds us Kremlin's separatist war machine that was supposed to establish the so-called independent state of Abkhazia. Georgians and Abkhazians did not prevent the war in our homeland.  And nowadays we are having human, moral, humanitarian, legal, socio-economic, and many other tragic results. 25 years is a short time for history, but it is a very short time to get rid of wounds, reunite people, restoring mutual trust and confidence.For the fourth quarter century, the Kremlin military machine gave us another war in Samachablo and recognized Georgia's indigenous territories as Abkhazia and Samachablo as so-called independent states. The progressive world has resisted this injustice with joint strength. The West considers Abkhazia and Samachablo as part of Georgia. The world community will not allow the revival of separatism, since it is a weapon for the destruction of small nations in the hands of the Kremlin and similar states, the results of which we are receiving daily in Abkhazia and Samachablo. Everybody sees the political illusions that led to the so-called de facto political leadership of Sokhumi and Tskhinvali and Abkhazian society. Who would have thought that Georgia's proud and prosperous regions would become Russia's military bases, the Abkhaz and Ossetian sides would get used to it and put their own future into question.

Mr. Vakhtang, what is the attitude of people in Sokhumi, do the people themselves and the Abkhazian community want to reconcile and restore relations?

I would like my answer to this question to be replaced with the words of the Abkhazian lady who is a great Georgian-Abkhazian family member. I really have her words in my heart and often read it, because expresses my and all our society's opinion. The words of this lady cannot make you indifferent that the Abkhazian woman told the Tbilisi-24 journalist in 2015: "we have grown up our children, even the grandchildren we have, we have health, we have so much income that we are able to share our food with the other, we have everything to be happy and satisfied, but the bridge collapsed with Georgians is our pain. Our soul suffers from the lack of proximity to the Georgians, and this feels like we have oxygen blocked and we breathe hardly"- said the woman and asked to bring her words to Georgians. "Do you think that Abkhazians do not regret now? Russians want to put everything in control, Abkhaz nation is a proud nation and cannot adapt to other domains in their home. After our Patriarch expressed his wish to visit Abkhazia, Georgian and imagine the majority of Abkhazian people in full hopes. I have a friend living in Sokhumi and he told me that maybe it would be possible to start a new relationship now. I know from him that most Abkhazians are looking for ways to reach Georgians. I, as a citizen I feel clearly softening relations. Previously Abkhazians didn't want to hear Georgians. I have lost many friends but recently they contacted me and we miss each other so much that we do not even say one word on past offenses. Then you know how many new Georgian-Abkhazian families have been created? My dear Georgians, I am a mother and I give the right to myself to ask you as our children are not raised in united Georgia, may our grandchildren will grow up in love with each other.

Good thinking is needed; every word needs to be considered. The main thing is to restore confidence in the Georgian people and the state; the most important thing is to start with people's diplomacy and not the aggression, delivery and command line. I told you that I have my friends back; so many others want to be back, so let the people decide. I really believe that it will soon come. And the tense period will be over. We must be forgiving, forgetting the old one. You, media representatives should play a big role in this. I believe that the Abkhaz society already sees the news. I know that many Abkhazians say "Abkhazia is Georgia". You may have seen the slogan during the demonstration in Sokhumi. This slogan is to be concluded in all media and on TV. This is the first step, it's the end of the thread that we'll have to go through and we'll go slowly to the end. "

"Yes, Abkhazia and Samachablo is Georgia, these words should often be mentioned by Abkhazians, Ossetians, Georgians and other nations. Our friends and enemies should know that Georgia will never tolerate the fact and will never give up its territories. This is our history, culture, our past and future."

Besides that, I am proud that Abkhazians come to us freely, attend sports and other events. They often visit Tbilisi, where high-level medical treatment is guaranteed by our medical staff. And here they are welcomed as very close people and this is very good.

Mr. Vakhtang, do Abkhazians believe our peace initiatives and whether the peace process has an alternative?

I am really convinced that Abkhaz society is calm in this regard. For so long, there has never been a case Tbilisi to take away from his word and action. Therefore, the peace process does not have an alternative. Georgia will further deepen and develop this process.

As I have said, 25 years have passed since the start of the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict. The one-year war gave us incurable pain. The undesirable human sacrifice, the deaths of many young people seriously undermined demographic sustainability towards both Abkhazians and Georgians. The chaos of war in small nations creates tragic situations that one can hardly survive. The war broke us Abkhazians and Ossetians but time is coming, when peace should unite us, to give way of correct development to the next generation. Today we are building bridges of peace, to show the Abkhaz and the Ossetians how much we all can benefit living in a united state in favor of our common future.

Our duty is to bequeath the future generations Georgia, our country that is united and indivisible. Therefore, we should never forget the terrible days of the war. Only peace and peaceful environment is the guarantee of our future rapprochement. Today we honor the war heroes. We stand next to the sadness of mothers of Abkhaz, Ossetian and other nations participating in the war heroes. Let the eternal memory of those great names.

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