A regiment of the Eastern group of forces is being moved to the border with Georgia on order from supreme commander-in-chief, President of Abkhazia Sergei Bagapsh and on instruction from Defence Minister, Colonel-General Mirab Kishmariya.
The troops are moved “to perform tasks to protect public order,” Alexander Pavlushko, the Abkhazian deputy defence minister, told reporters. He said the regiment of the Eastern group of forces “will assist border troops in the protection of the state border.” Itar-Tass
The regiment of the Eastern group of forces comprises tank units, a mortar and artillery battalions and troops with field service, said a source in the republic’s defense ministry.
“As of today, units of the Abkhazian army will be stationed in Nabakevi, Taglan and Pichora populated localities in the lower zone of the Gali district. They will interact in their daily service with units of the Russian Defence Ministry quartered in Abkhazia’s border district,” sources in the Abkhazian defence ministry stressed.
Abkhazian Defence Minister Colonel-General Mirab Kishmariya personally supervises the troop’s movement to the Gali district.
While the May 14,1994 Moscow Agreement on Ceasefire and Disengagement of Forces operated, the Gali border district was the Security Zone controlled by the Collective Peacekeeping Forces of the CIS in the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict zone. Abkhazian armed forces then had no right to be present in the zone of responsibility of the Collective Peacekeeping Forces of the CIS.
When Russian peacekeeping forces had been withdrawn from the security zone, Abkhazian structures took their place. “We will increase the number of staffers of the services and reinforce the border. This is needed as we are constantly threatened by our neighbor,” Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh said at a conference with the participation of representatives of the power-wielding forces in the Gali district on December 3.