Abkhazia’s two self-proclaimed governments took a break from both fighting and negotiations on May 30 as the embattled Black-Sea region entered into the fourth day of de-facto diarchy.
“Now, there is a bit of calm in the negotiation process . . . With this in mind, we are working on the next format of the meetings [with the opposition],” commented de-facto National Security Chief Nugzar Ashuba, the separatist administration’s point-man for talks with opposition groups which have claimed power.
Ankvab has ruled out the use of force against the opposition, but the opposition, for its part, warned on May 30 that responsibility for any violent clashes will lie with Abkhazia's 61-year-old de-facto leader.
A council of opposition parties continues to occupy the de-facto president’s office, which they took over by force on May 27, and claims that it is now the region's governing power. Ankvab has taken shelter at the Russian military base in Gudauta, northwest of the capital, Sokhumi, Ekho Kavkaza reported. His national security chief shuttles back and forth between him and the opposition. Two officials from Moscow, Abkhazia's chaperone, are on hand to facilitate the talks.
A hunger for democracy, rule of law and a better life is seen as the ultimate driving force of the protests.
Meanwhile, Tbilisi, which claims sovereignty over Abkhazia, has few options other than to watch developments from across the Inguri River, the natural border between Georgian-controlled territory and the Russian-guarded separatist region.
None of the sides have proposed closer ties with Tbilisi -- still generally reviled in Abkhazia for the brutal 1992-1994 war with Abkhaz separatists over the territory -- but some differ in their degrees of support for Moscow.
With that, and recent events in Ukraine, no doubt in mind, the Kremlin delegation so far has avoided expressing its views publicly about developments in the region.