SUKHUMI, May 29 (RIA Novosti) – The united opposition of Abkhazia has called for a new partnership treaty with Russia that could take the bilateral strategic partnership “to a completely new level,” the opposition Coordination Council said Thursday in a statement.
“We want to underline that regardless of the internal political processes in the republic, strategic partnership between our two countries has no alternatives and it will be developing in a spirit of brotherhood, mutual assistance and respect of sovereignty and independence of Abkhazia,” it said.
Abkhazia has been oriented towards Russia who it sees as the only defender of its rights and national interests, the statement said.
A mass protest in Abkhazia's capital, Sukhumi, has been continuing for several days. The protesters seized government buildings, demanding President Aleksandr Ankvab step down.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday that Moscow is concerned by the political tensions in Abkhazia and believes the crisis should be resolved through legal means.
Abkhazia broke away from Georgia following an ethnically tinged war in 1992-1993, just after the collapse of the Soviet Union. More than a decade later, in 2008, Russia formally recognized the province as an independent state after a brief war with Tbilisi over another disputed Georgian region, South Ossetia. Many Abkhaz citizens hold Russian passports.