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Georgian agitprop on ecological assault2009-08-27 22:40
Georgia lays new claims to Russia, this time ecological. Tbilisi condemns the project inspired by the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources to create a unique ecological corridor between Teberdin reserve (Russia) on one side and Ritsin and Kodori national parks in Abkhazia - from the other. If Moscow presses for preservation of biological variety on the border of the two states Tbilisi is beating alarm because of the alleged deforestation and illegal exploitation of inert materials. Abkhaz President Sergey Bagapsh stated that protection of the republic's nature was his personal responsibility. But is it what official Tbilisi wants?
According to the initiators of the ecoproject a biosphere polygon will help to unite Teberdin and Arkhyz parts of Teberdin reserve located high in the mountains of the Karachai-Circassian Republic with the part of the Caucasian park, Rosbalt report. Ritsin national park (Abkhazia) adjoins this zone within the Russian borders and in the near future it will be the territory of Kodory park now under construction in the republic. The boundaries of the projected biosphere polygon run along natural borders.
"Creation of a biosphere polygon as an integral part of Teberdin reserve is an important measure for preservation of biological and landscape variety of North Caucasus". - Yuri Trutnev, the minister of natural resources and ecology stated remarking he considered it as "an efficient compensation measure" aimed at reduction of ecological risks at the time of preparations for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
However in Tbilisi the project proposed by RF Ministry of Natural Resources was interpreted as an intention to include Abkhazia's national parks in the areal of Karachai-Circassian territories. Georgian minister of environment protection and natural resources Giorgy Khachidze stated Russia "had no right to do that" as Moscow's initiative couldn't be implemented without consent of UNESCO whose documents refer to Ritsin and Kodory reserves as protected territories of Georgia.
To pile it up the Georgian minister mentioned the "fact" that Abkhazia's ecology now suffered irreparable harm by deforestation and free exploitation of inert materials for construction works as part of preparation for the Olympics. Later the Georgian Foreign Ministry even addressed the world community and international organizations asking to take "adequate measures".
This is literally how Abkhaz President Sergey Bagapsh rebuffed Georgia's ecological "claims": "Given vulnerability and uniqueness of the Abkhaz nature no stone will be moved away without permits of strict environmental inspections", - Nezavisimaya Gazeta quotes the Abkhaz leader. - As President I'm in charge of it".