Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sokhumi Slams EU’s Belarus Warning

Sergey Shamba, the foreign minister of breakaway Abkhazia, said the Czech Foreign Minister’s warning against Belarus not to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia was regarded by Sokhumi as EU’s “biased” position, which was undermining Geneva talks in which EU acts as mediator.
Speaking after meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels, which discussed Eastern Partnership initiative, Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, whose country holds EU presidency, said: “It is natural that Belarus [has] a sovereign parliament and the parliament of Belarus has its own decision [to make],” he said. "If they recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia it would create a very, very difficult situation for Belarus because Belarus would be out of the European consensus.”

Abkhaz news agency, Apsnipress, reported on February 24 quoting Shamba, that the statement was “a direct pressure exerted by EU on sovereign Belarus.”

“The recognition issue represents internal affair of a state and this was a basic guiding principle of EU-member states in respect of Kosovo recognition,” Shamba said.

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