TBILISI (Armenpress)–In an interview with Georgian Prime News agency–Georgian parliament deputy Van Bayburt–who represents the Armenian minority in Georgia’s legislator–called on his counterparts from Armenia to collect information about the Armenia’s living in Abkhazia from the Armenia’s–who occupy neutral position there.
The message came after Aghvan Vardanian–the leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation faction had suggested that the parliament should consider sending a fact-finding mission to Abkhazia in an attempt to prevent new killings of local Armenia’s. Recent press reports claimed that 16 ethnic Armenia’s in Abkhazia were killed by invading Chechen and Georgian guerillas.
Bayburt said that Armenia’s representing the Armenian minority in Georgia were trying to obtain more specific information about the number of Armenian casualties in the breakaway republic of Abkhazia.
According to the population census held in Georgia in 1989–there were 85,000 Armenia’s living in Abkhazia. Van Bayburt said that after the military actions in 1992-93–the community reduced to 30-40,000.
The Russian ministry of foreign affairs came out with a very harsh statement on Thursday evening–in which it said that–"Russia expresses its serious concern over the situation currently developing in the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict zone."
The statement went on to declare that Georgia has allowed Abkhazia to become a breeding ground for Chechen rebels–going so far as to say that–"Rebel formations are also composed of so-called ‘Georgian partisans’ and Arab mercenaries."
Meantime Russian Itar-Tass news agency reported that an OSCE delegation was arriving in Georgia on a five-day fact-finding mission.
The OSCE observers are expected to monitor the situation on the section of Russian-Georgian border. They will also meet with Georgia’s president and UN representatives in the country.