PM of Georgia separatist republic dies in car crash


MOSCOW, Sept 9, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – The prime minister of Georgia’s
separatist republic of Abkhazia died in a car crash late Saturday, the local
government said.

Gennady Gaguliya, 70, was killed in a crash on the road between Psou in
the south of Russia and Sukhumi in the breakaway region, according to a
statement on the Abkhazia cabinet website.

Russia’s TASS news agency reported Galuliya was travelling in a delegation
returning from Syria. His driver and security guards were not injured, the
news agency quoted a government spokesperson as saying.

The republic is led by president Raul Khajimba.

Moscow became one of the few capitals to recognise the independence of
Abkhazia, along with breakaway republic South Ossetia, following a Russia-
Georgia war a decade ago.

The two regions constitute 20 percent of Georgia’s territory.

Georgia and its Western allies have condemned Russia’s continued
“occupation” of its territory and have demanded the Kremlin reverse its
recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Georgia and its Soviet-era master Moscow have long been at loggerheads
over Tbilisi’s bid to join the European Union and NATO, with the spiralling
confrontation culminating in a full-blown war in August 2008.

Russia stationed permanent military bases in the breakaway regions after
the conflict.