RIA Novosti: Abkhaz Leader Ready for Dialogue with Opposition, Rules Out Ultimatums

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MOSCOW, May 30 (RIA Novosti) – Abkhazia’s President Alexander Ankvab is ready to negotiate with the opposition to achieve “a concrete result”, but says that he will not accept any ultimatums.

“The situation is difficult, but not critical We propose to engage in a dialogue [with the opposition] in a manner that would bring us a concrete result,” Ankvab said in an interview with the Kommersant FM radio station.

Ankvab said that he was ready “to discuss the issues that will benefit the country.”

“But we will not discuss any ultimatums,” the president specified. “Causes for disaffection can exist in any country,” Ankvab stated, noting that this kind of dissatisfaction can still be expressed in different ways.

“Either within the framework of laws, constitution, constitutional field or by capturing administrative buildings, through threats – these are completely different ways. Naturally, we have a lot of problems in Abkhazia, the kind one could not avoid. You know we have had a rather complex economic situation in the last 22 years, but to reduce everything to politics and bring it to the point of absurdity in order to come to power this way, well, it is at least very dangerous for the country,” the president of Abkhazia said.

The protest in Abkhazia’s capital, Sukhum, started Tuesday and has been continuing ever since. Protesters have seized government buildings, demanding the resignation of President Alexander Ankvab, who in turn stated that those actions were nothing but a coup attempt.

On Thursday, the parliament of Abkhazia voted for the resignation of the president and passed a vote of no confidence in Abkhaz Prime Minister Leonid Lakerbaia. Prime Minister Lakerbaia said that the opposition tried to trigger bloodshed and noted that Ankvab can be replaced only through the presidential election.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier this week that Moscow is concerned by the political tensions in Abkhazia and believes the crisis should be resolved through a legal process.

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