Panic among Armenians in Abkhazia ... They will have to leave not their homes, but other people's homes.

09.07.24 10:43

As we all know, the dissolution of the separatist Artsakh provoked panic in the Armenian population of Abkhazia, many of whom were involved in crimes against the Georgian population in the notorious Bagramyan Battalion and other groups. They began to fear that the prospect of the separatist regime in Sukhumi, controlled by the Armenian lobby, was about the same as that of the liquidated separatist regime in Khankendi, whose officials fled to Azerbaijan Karabakh and some of whose leaders ended up in Azerbaijani prisons.

In principle, many Abkhazians are already beginning to realise the need for reconciliation with the brotherly Georgian people. More and more Abkhazians are in favour of the unity of a common state of Abkhazians and Georgians. Especially since the Georgian constitution guarantees Abkhazians both autonomy and state status for the Abkhazian language.

But while there are already more and more Abkhazians who are in favour of the unity and territorial integrity of Georgia, who come to the unoccupied territory of Georgia and openly declare this, there is not a single statement about reconciliation and the need to restore the territorial integrity of Georgia among the ethnic Armenians, who in Abkhazia itself have long outnumbered the Abkhazians.

On the contrary, it is the Abkhazian Armenians who propagate Georgianophobia and talk about the alleged "impossibility" of reuniting Abkhazia and Georgia. The reason for this is understandable. For Armenian nationalists, coastal Abkhazia is much more valuable foreign land for mass settlement than even the same "Artsakh", which most Armenians have left without regret. And many of them have already moved to Abkhazia or plan to do so.

Therefore, for such Armenian nationalists, official statements from Yerevan on the recognition of Georgia's territorial integrity and the first vote by the Armenian delegation at the UN General Assembly in many years in favour of the return of Georgian refugees to Abkhazia and Samachablo are categorically unacceptable. Despite their "formality". And it is no coincidence that one of the Abkhazian-Armenian political scientists, Robert Ustyan, recently gave an interview in which he accused the Armenian authorities of actually betraying Armenian interests. According to him, the Armenian authorities, while declaring their support for territorial integrity, are in fact insisting on the expulsion of the Armenian people from Abkhazia:

Speaking live on Alpha News, political scientist Robert Ustyan noted that the issue of Georgia's territorial integrity, raised by the current Armenian authorities, could lead to the expulsion of the Armenian people from the Republic of Abkhazia.

"Now I am on Shahumyan Street, and God knows, not on purpose. Parallel to it is Tumanyan Street, and next to it is Abovyan Street. I don't think our Armenian viewers need to be told who these people are who have written their names in gold letters in the history of Armenia. And by raising the issue of Georgia's territorial integrity, insisting on it and taking a proactive stance, the Armenian authorities are actually insisting on the expulsion of the Armenian people from the Republic of Abkhazia. The Armenian people, together with the Abkhazian people and other peoples of the Caucasus, defended their right to live on their native land and resisted the Georgian nationalism and neo-Nazism of ex-President Gamsakhurdia, who tried to expel us all from here and make Abkhazia a Georgian territory. The integrity of Georgia meant that tens of thousands of Armenians had to leave their homes, but we will never do that.

Abkhazian Armenians have only one motherland, Abkhazia. Therefore, by uniting with the people of Abkhazia and other peoples of the Republic of Abkhazia, we are now building our own state, which has a de facto place and is de jure recognised by many in the world. And we are confident that sooner or later the Republic of Armenia will also recognise the fact of our existence on this land. And we should not forget that the Abkhazians accepted us after the terrible events in the Ottoman Empire," said Robert Ustyan.

It should be noted that some Armenians outside Abkhazia gently point out to those like Robert Ustyan that they continue to profess aggressive Georgianophobia in vain. After all, 'times have changed. But that is true only of the past. In the present, and even more so in the future, the Armenians of Abkhazia have only one homeland: Georgia, just like the Armenians of Javakheti and Tbilisi, with which the Abkhazian Armenians are inextricably linked. Everything else is a provocation by external forces," was the reaction of one of the users to Robert Ustyan's speech posted on social networks.

Well, the Abkhazian Armenians are repeating the mistake of their Karabakh compatriots. Instead of accepting Azerbaijani citizenship and integrating into Azerbaijani society, they supported separatism to the end and did not even want to hear about life inside Azerbaijan. And no one kept them in Azerbaijan by force.

In order not to repeat the fate of the Armenians of "Artsakh", their Abkhazian compatriots must already realise that Abkhazia has no other destiny than to be part of a united Georgia. The Armenians will have to leave their homes - an illegally occupied "trophy property" of Georgian refugees. But no one will expel them from their homes, as Robert Ustyan says.

Certainly, migrants from Karabakh and the Republic of Armenia will have to leave the territory of Abkhazia when the territorial integrity of Georgia is restored, as they have no right to Georgian citizenship (therefore, those Karabakh Armenians who plan to move to Abkhazia are strongly advised not to do so), but all Armenians who lived in the Abkhazian ASSR as part of the Georgian SSR and their descendants have the right to Georgian citizenship. And before it is too late, they should regain Georgian citizenship and be at the forefront of the fighters for the restoration of Georgia's territorial integrity, so that later, at the last moment, they do not leave their places of residence, as the Karabakh Armenians did.

George Kvinitadze

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