Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday responded to Russia’s plans to deploy its naval base in the Ochamchire city, in Georgia’s currently occupied north-western Abkhazia region, and claimed “we will reach them [Russians] everywhere”.
In his online comments for the Crimea Platform Summit in Prague, Zelenskyy said the Russian navy “no longer has the power to operate in the western part of the Black Sea and is gradually fleeing from Crimea”.
“This is a historic achievement. Russia was forced to announce the creation of a new base of the Black Sea fleet, or rather its remnants, in the occupied territory of Georgia, that is, in the southeastern part of the sea, as far as possible from Ukrainian missiles and naval drones, but we will reach them everywhere," Zelenskyy said and added the goal of his office was “full reintegration” of the country’s territories.
In reaction to the claims on the new naval base, the Georgian State Security Service said this month it would take about three years to establish such a base.
In an interview with the Russian Izvestia at the beginning of October, Abkhaz de facto President Aslan Bzhania claimed the deal on the base had been achieved.
Georgian PM Irakli Garibashvili said the decision to open a permanent Russian military-naval base in Abkhazia was a "continuation of the occupation" and "further worsens the situation, which accompanies the occupation".
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia also expressed concerns and called such actions "another provocative attempt" aimed at "legitimizing the illegal occupation of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions".
The Parliament of Georgia, however, did not support the initiative of the opposition MPs to adopt a resolution on this issue.