Information Documents


19 October 2011


Consolidated report on the conflict in Georgia

(April – October 2011)

Document presented by the Secretary General


1.            At their 1080th meeting on 24 and 26 March 2010, the Ministers’ Deputies took the following decision: “The Deputies, restating the previous decisions of the Committee of Ministers, invited the Secretary General to prepare his consolidated report on the conflict in Georgia based on his outline and taking into account the comments made during the present meeting”.

2.            The objective of the report is to take stock of the situation in Georgia following the August 2008 conflict, to report on the related activities of the Council of Europe and to propose further Council of Europe action. It is composed of four parts: assessment of statutory obligations and commitments related to the conflict and its consequences; human rights situation in the areas affected by the conflict; current Council of Europe conflict-related activities and their follow-up and proposals for future action.

3.            This fourth consolidated report covers the period between April and October 2011. It builds on the three previous consolidated reports[1], as well as Secretariat reports on the human rights situation in the areas affected by the conflict in Georgia[2] and the report on the Council of Europe activities in the areas affected by the conflict[3] and its updates[4].

4.            The Secretariat carried out an on-the-spot fact-finding visit on 12-18 September and had the opportunity to discuss the situation on the ground with the Georgian national authorities, representatives of the authorities in control in Sukhumi, local civil society representatives and international organisations. The Secretariat wishes to express its gratitude to the Georgian authorities for their support in organising the visit and to all interlocutors for their contributions.

5.            This report in no way replaces the monitoring procedures established by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Committee of Ministers, as well as other monitoring bodies. Nor should it be seen as prejudging any possible decisions in the cases related to the conflict and its consequences, which are currently pending before the European Court of Human Rights.

6.            Nothing in this report should be interpreted as being contrary to the full respect of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders[5], and to the six-point agreement of 12 August 2008 and the implementing measures of 8 September 2008.

7.            This report does not prejudge or infringe upon a possible future political settlement of the conflict within the framework of the Geneva talks.

Update on major developments in the period under review

8.            In the period under review, two rounds of the Geneva Discussions took place, the 16th round on 7 June and the 17th round on 4 October. Also, the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism met regularly, providing security actors with an opportunity to discuss incidents and work out practical solutions in order to deflate potential tensions.

9.            While the security situation on the ground during the reporting period was considered as generally calm, exchanges of mutual, not always documented accusations have affected at times the climate of political talks and restricted the space for a constructive engagement in negotiations on conflict-related issues.

10.         On 22 September the Russian State Duma ratified the “Agreement between the Russian Federation and the Republic of South Ossetia on the joint Russian military base on the territory of the Republic of South Ossetia” and the “Agreement between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Abkhazia on the joint Russian military base on the territory of the Republic of Abkhazia”. Valid for a period of 49 years and then further renewable for 15-year periods, they were ratified also by the Federation Council on 28 September (and further promulgated on 7 October).

11.         Against the background of ongoing negotiations between Georgia and the Russian Federation on the latter’s application to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO), requests for the State Duma to ratify Custom Treaties with Sukhumi and Tskhinvali were submitted in July and September by President Medvedev. As one of the conditions to agree on Russia’s membership in the WTO, the Georgian authorities requested the adoption of measures (including possibly an international observation mission) aimed at introducing transparency on the movement of goods across the Russian-Georgian border.

12.         On 26 August, de facto presidential elections took place in Abkhazia. Former de facto Vice President Aleksander Ankvab was elected. Many in the international community issued statements reiterating their position of non-recognition of the constitutional and legal framework within which the contest had taken place.

Assessment of statutory obligations and commitments related to the conflict and its consequences

13.     Below is an update on statutory obligations and specific commitments - as listed in PACE Opinions 193 (1996) and 209 (1999) - which have been selected for the purpose of reporting on the conflict in Georgia and its consequences. This part builds on Part 1 of the first and second consolidated reports on the conflict in Georgia (SG/Inf (2010)8 and SG/Inf (2010)19 final).

i.             To accept the principles of the rule of law and of the enjoyment by all persons within its jurisdiction of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and to collaborate sincerely and effectively in the realisation of the aim of the Council of Europe

14.     On 1 April the International Court of Justice ruled that it had no jurisdiction to decide in the case filed by Georgia against the Russian Federation on 12 August 2008 on a possible breach of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD). On 27 June the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that through the Swiss Embassy in Tbilisi it had transmitted to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs a note inviting them “to participate in further negotiations to resolve the disputes that have arisen with respect to the Russian Federation’s responsibility for breaches of the United Nations CERD”.  On July 29, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the Swiss Embassy in Moscow, took note of this proposal and expressed its consent to proceed to such negotiations.

15.     The European Court of Human Rights held on 22 September the first hearing on the case Georgia against Russia (no 2) (no 38263/08) concerning “the armed conflict that erupted between Georgia and the Russian Federation” in August 2008. The Government of the Russian Federation challenged the allegations of the Georgian Government. After the hearing, the Court will continue its deliberations, which will be held in camera.

16.     It is recalled that more than 3 300 individual applications against Georgia were lodged by persons affected by the hostilities in August 2008. In the course of 2010, five communicated cases and 1 549 new applications belonging to that group were struck out of the Court’s list as the Court concluded that the applicants no longer wished to pursue the application within the meaning of Article 37 § 1(a) of the Convention. The Court subsequently dismissed the request for 248 of those cases to be restored to its list. As a result, 1 712 individual applications against Georgia are still pending. Nine of them were communicated, and the parties (including the Russian Federation where the applicants are Russian nationals) have submitted their observations on the admissibility and merits.

17.     Furthermore, 20 applications in total were registered, in 2010 and 2011, against both Georgia and the Russian Federation in which the applicants (Georgian nationals) complain about breaches of their Convention rights resulting from the hostilities in August 2008 and the alleged absence of adequate investigation in both States.

18.     Moreover, the 208 applications involving more than 900 applicants from Georgia complaining against the Russian Federation have been communicated to the Russian Government for information.

ii.            To settle international as well as internal disputes by peaceful means (an obligation incumbent upon all member states of the Council of Europe), rejecting resolutely any forms of threats of force against its neighbours

19.     No new developments to report.

iii.           To respect strictly the provisions of international humanitarian law, including in cases of armed conflict on its territory

iv.           To co-operate in good faith with international humanitarian organisations and to enable them to carry out their activities on its territory in conformity with their mandates

20.     Since the entry into force of Resolution n° 320 on 15 October 2010, the Georgian Government’s “Modalities for Engagement” have provided the international community with a framework for the implementation of projects. According to information provided by the Georgian authorities, to date 79 project proposals have been submitted. Of these, fifty proposals focused on Abkhazia; twenty-five on South Ossetia and four on both regions. All 79 received “non-objection orders.” Twenty-six projects were funded through the EU-UNDP Confidence Building Early Response Mechanism (COBERM) and thirty-six through other channels.

21.     On the basis of the experience gained over the last twelve months, there is a general feeling within the international community that the usefulness and efficiency of the “Modalities” could be further enhanced by elements of flexibility and pragmatism. While working in the interest of increased people-to-people contacts and better protection of human rights for all conflict-affected populations, increased flexibility and pragmatism would nonetheless preserve the current “engagement without recognition” policy.  

22.     These remarks notwithstanding, it is worth stressing that the Council of Europe’s co-operation with the Georgian authorities on confidence-building activities has so far proven positive and constructive (cf. section on Proposals for further action of the report).

v.            To facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable groups of the population affected by the consequences of the conflict

23.     In the period under review international organisations’ access to the conflict regions has remained restricted. While a number of projects are taking place on the ground and international representatives are generally allowed to visit Sukhumi and the Gali district, South Ossetia remains mainly out of reach. In particular, EUMM did not have regular access to the conflict regions during the period under review. The OSCE presence was not re-established during the period under review.


24.     As far as access to and activities in Abkhazia are concerned, both in the experience of the international community in general and of the Council of Europe in particular, the Liaison Mechanism[6] has proved an effective channel of communication, whose positive experience would be worth replicating.

Human rights situation in the areas affected by the conflict

25.     Visiting the Gali district and talking with representatives of several ethnic Georgian civil society organisations, the Secretariat registered expectations of the people related to perspectives of economic development. The population in Gali also voiced the hope that measures will be undertaken to tackle security-related issues.

26.     Although it is understood that some parts of the population in Gali would be inclined to stay in the district, forms of discrimination are present, especially as far as the issuing of documents and the use of the Georgian language were concerned.

27.     Great uncertainty remains as far as the legal rights of ethnic Georgians in Gali are concerned. The de facto authorities expressed awareness of their responsibilities and willingness to promote a policy of full integration. These intentions, however, seem not to have been translated into concrete actions. Locally applied rules, for example, make no distinction between citizenship and residence rights and recognise as the only valid form of identity the “Abkhaz passport”. The enjoyment of social rights (such as education, health services, property, civil registry) in most cases depends on it. With the exception of the Russian Federation, the passport is not valid for travel abroad, but will be required, as of the end of the year, to cross the Administrative Boundary Line (ABL). Soviet passports and other forms of identity that have been in use so far are due to lose their validity. 

28.     Georgian interlocutors in Gali whom the Secretariat met during their visit reported their intention to take up the passport, since this seems to be the only way for them to enjoy their rights. According to statistics provided by different sources, of the estimated 50 000 ethnic Georgians residing in the Gali district, about 10 000 had to take up the passport.

29.     The Secretariat was informed that while close to completion in the other districts, the issuing of passports has been significantly delayed in Gali, where lengthy and more cumbersome procedures have been reported (including a security screening that can extend significantly the period of the issuing of the passport).

30.     The Georgian authorities have firmly objected to the issuing of “Abkhaz passports”, which they see as an illegal document.

31.     Following up on provisions included in the Georgian Government’s Action Plan for Engagement, on 1 July 2011 the Georgian Parliament adopted amendments to the existing legislation thus allowing for the introduction of Status Neutral Identification Cards (SNID) and Status Neutral Travel Documents (SNTD). The documents, which, according to the Georgian authorities, will not contain any state symbol and will be issued on a voluntary and non-discriminatory basis, are designed to allow legitimate residents of the regions to enjoy the privileges due to all Georgian citizens, including social benefits, employment and international travel. SNTD-holders will be able to travel to countries that have recognised the SNTD once they have been issued with a regular visa by the receiving country.

32.     Discrepancies between a de jure and a de facto situation affect the teaching of the Georgian language in the Gali district. According to the local legislation, Abkhaz and Russian are the two official languages, whose knowledge is required, according to the de facto authorities, to ensure the individual’s integration into society.[7] Although the language of the second largest ethnic group, no higher education in Georgian is provided in the region. The teaching of Georgian is to some extent allowed (not legally provided for) in Gali. Of the twenty-two schools present in the district, twenty-one conduct lessons in Georgian and in one the teaching of Georgian is optional.[8]

33.     As a result of the widespread lack of teachers and the general reluctance of teachers to move from other districts, the teaching of Georgian in Gali benefits from a prevalence of Georgian-trained teachers, at times commuting from the Zugdidi district and the use of textbooks provided by the Georgian Government. A number of school children (119, according to EUMM statistics) cross daily the ABL to attend school in the Zugdidi district.

34.     As for Tskhinvali, the Secretariat was informed that the human rights situation remains critical, especially in the Akhalgori valley, where the population is reported to be decreasing, freedom of movement is often restricted, access to health services and education is not always guaranteed and property rights are not universally upheld. With no access to the region, however, the Secretary General is unable to provide an assessment at this point in time, but pursues his efforts for the Secretariat to undertake a visit in preparation of the next report, or at an earlier time.

Ø  Security and freedom of movement

35.     The ongoing process of “borderisation” keeps affecting negatively the local population, especially those living in proximity of the ABL. According to EUMM, as of late September, fifteen fences have appeared in different locations along the ABL with South Ossetia, demarcating a total of approximately 3km of the line.

36.     With a very high rate of social as well as economic contacts on both sides of the line, the appearance of what is being treated by the de facto as well as the Russian authorities as an international “border” has severely restricted the people’s freedom of movement. Alleged violations of the “border” regime by the local population keep resulting in the charging of fines, the extortion of bribes, and detentions. The South Ossetian press reported, for example, that in the 26-30 September period the Russian Border Guards detained eight people.  All of them were reportedly crossing to conduct regular agricultural work or to visit relatives. A serious incident took place close to the South Ossetian ABL on 18 May, when a group of Georgians came under fire while performing agricultural activities. Two of them were critically wounded.

37.     In addition to the latest arrests, according to EUMM estimates, as of late September, eleven people were held in long-term detention in Tskhinvali. Concerns have been voiced in relation to detention conditions, with some detainees denouncing bad treatment and some families reporting the extortion of bribes to facilitate their relatives’ release.

38.     On the Abkhaz side, the crossing regime has been different with residents allowed through upon the display of a single-exit and a fee permit issued by the local authorities in Gali. Residents living on the territory under the control of the central government are generally required to be provided with an invitation by their hosts on the other side of the ABL. Special conditions are negotiated in cases of special family events. Lack of the appropriate crossing documents results generally in short-term detentions and the charging of fees. The local population has often reported to EUMM the payment of bribes.


39.     The de facto authorities in Sukhumi informed the Secretariat of their plans to have the whole “border” securised by the end of the year. As a result, crossing would be allowed only to Abkhaz “passport” holders, while non-residents would be able to cross only if invited. Five additional pedestrian crossing points are expected to be opened (in Otobaya, Nabakevi, Tagiloni, Saberio and Lekukhona), with Rukhi bridge designated as the only crossing point for vehicles.

40.     Reports on the security situation in the Gali district remain mixed. Against the background of frequent racketeering and smuggling occurrences connected with the production and trade of citrus fruits and hazelnuts. In addition, a serious shooting incident took place in the village of Chuburkhinji on 8 April (two ethnic Georgians and a Russian border guard were killed).

41.     The security situation in the areas adjacent to the ABL is reported as generally calm.[9] Potential security incidents arising from increased ABL traffic in connection with agricultural activities, religious festivals, funerals and weddings are in most cases successfully managed within the framework of the IPRMs.

42.      Tensions were registered around the 26 May Independence Day demonstrations in Tbilisi, when the Georgian law enforcement authorities increased their presence in the areas adjacent to the South Ossetian ABL. The EUMM expressed concern about repercussions on the local population’s freedom of movement.

Ø  The situation of Internally Displaced Persons

Right to return

43.     As regards the right of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to a safe, dignified and voluntary return, regrettably no progress has been registered.

44.     With 57 votes in favour, 13 against and 74 abstentions, on 29 June, the UN General Assembly approved for the fourth year in a row a resolution reiterating the right of return of all displaced persons and refugees to the two breakaway regions. As in previous cases, the resolution calls for a timetable to ensure the return of all internally displaced persons and refugees and requests the UN Secretary General to submit a report on the implementation of this resolution. In a May 2011 report, the UN Secretary General admitted that no timetable for the return of refugees and internally displaced persons has been developed “given the prevailing environment and continued discussions among the parties”.

Right of displaced persons to care and support

45.     Amidst controversy and public outcry, evictions of IDPs from collective centres in Tbilisi and other major Georgian towns kept taking place in the period under review. In August, the Public Defender issued a statement calling the authorities not to evict residents of two buildings in the capital, unless an agreement had been reached on an adequate alternative housing solution or financial compensation, as foreseen by the legislation.

46.     Georgian Ministry MRA, estimated that while about 28 000 families have already been provided with a durable housing solution (including both ownership in privatised buildings or cash compensation), 40 000 families remain to be provided for. According to the Public Defender’s Office (PDO), this assessment refers only to IDPs residing in collective centres, equal to40% of the total IDP population, whereas the remaining 60% living in private accommodation remain unaccounted for. 

47.     The MRA is credited for having improved eviction procedures and having succeeded in providing the IDPs with better and more timely information on available options. Criticism remains, however, in relation to the privatisation process (slower than planned, it will probably see the deadline for its completion shift to 2013-14) and the living conditions afforded to IDPs relocated outside collective centres. As far as the latter are concerned, criticism concerns not only poor infrastructure and access to livelihood in remote locations, but also the burden of IDPs’ integration imposed onto already impoverished communities endowed with limited public services. In a recent report, Transparency International echoed concerns broadly expressed by the international community about the overall quality of repair works in collective centres, considered inadequate to meet the long-term housing needs of IDPs.

Activities of Council of Europe organs and institutions and their follow-up

Ø  Commissioner for Human Rights

Update on investigations into case of missing persons

48.     Over the reporting period the Commissioner for Human Rights continued his efforts to clarify the fate of missing persons. During his 18-21 April visit to Georgia, the Commissioner discussed with the Georgian authorities implementation of the recommendations contained in the September 2010 report on the Monitoring of Investigations into Cases of Missing Persons during and after the August 2008 Conflict in Georgia. On that occasion, he was given verbal assurances that the supervision of the investigation in the case of the disappearance of Alan Khachirov, Alan Khugaev and Soltan Pliev has been transferred from the regional prosecutorial authorities to the Office of the Prosecutor General of Georgia. The Georgian authorities took note of the Commissioner’s report and the recommendations therein. The Commissioner will continue to follow the situation.


49.     The Commissioner continues to closely follow the situation with respect to persons detained following the August 2008 conflict. He supports the efforts made by both sides to continue the release process. The Commissioner has a particular concern regarding a detainee held in Tskhinvali since late 2009.

Rights of IDPs and other persons affected by the conflict

50.     As part of its activities aimed at supporting efforts to address the situation of IDPs and other persons affected by the conflict, the Office of the Commissioner funded a training of trainers on the protection of IDPs. Held on 10-14 September in Georgia, this event was organised jointly by the PDO, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre and the Norwegian Refugee Council and in co-operation with UNHCR. Fifteen participants, mainly from the PDO and the MRA attended the training, which included a session on international standards on the protection of IDPs. The trainers are planning to hold training sessions in other parts of Georgia for IDPs and other persons affected by the conflict.

Ø  European Court of Human Rights

51.     As regards the Inter-State application (No.38263/08) which was lodged by Georgia against Russia on 11 August 2008 in connection with the August 2008 conflict a hearing on admissibility took place on 22 September 2011 (cf. above paragraph 15).

52.     The state of play with regard to individual cases is described in paragraphs 16-17 of the report.

Ø  Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

53.     In the context of the Monitoring Committee, the co-rapporteurs for Georgia and Russia continued to follow closely developments with regard to the implementation of the Assembly's resolution “The consequences of the war between Georgia and Russia”, as well as in the framework of the monitoring procedures for both countries. A joint information note for the Monitoring Committee is expected in the first quarter of 2012.

54.     In the context of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population, Ms Tina Acketoft (Sweden, ALDE) was appointed on 18 April 2011 as rapporteur to prepare a report on “Follow-up on the humanitarian consequences of the war between Georgia and Russia: the humanitarian situation in the war-affected areas”. Ms Acketoft visited Georgia from 20 to 22 September 2011 as a first step in collecting information for her report.

Operational activities

Ø  Update on the proposals for further action and implemented activities

55.     In the period under review, substantial progress was made on the implementation of the pilot projects proposed by the Secretary General and designed for expanded action while addressing the consequences of the August 2008 conflict.

Training of journalists

56.     The follow-up activity on the training of journalists on standards and principles of balanced coverage of politically sensitive events - took place in Kyiv on 7-9 June 2011 with the participation of twenty-two journalists representing various public and privately owned media outlets (TV, radio and print media).[10] This activity was a follow-up to the first journalist training seminar which took place in Istanbul in November 2010 (cf. the previous report). The Secretariat was informed that as a result of these activities regular contacts between the participants have been established and joint initiatives launched. As a follow-up, it is proposed to hold a meeting of selected participants to discuss practical modalities for further co-operation on specific future joint initiatives.

Providing publications on human rights protection

57.     The second initiative, aiming at providing civil society groups and selected Abkhaz educational institutions[11] with Council of Europe publications on various human rights issues, resulted in the distribution of six Council of Europe publications in four languages, 100 copies in each language to twelve institutions during the summer 2011.

The use of new technologies to enhance intercultural communication skills

58.         The project on the “use of new technologies to enhance intercultural communication skills”, one of the initial proposals by the Georgian authorities, was held in Kyiv on 12-16 September and addressed university teachers and students.

59.         The training was appreciated by participants from both groups who expressed the wish to continue to work on the area of multicultural education.  The atmosphere in which the seminar took place was constructive and indicated a genuine will to discuss educational issues. In particular, it showed the strong desire of young people living in Abkhazia to open up to ideas and new approaches to their profession.

60.         Further to this training seminar, it is proposed to continue with two additional meetings dealing more specifically with initial training of teachers to an intercultural environment and the role of the school in developing a culture of co-operation in a multicultural environment.

61.         All the above-mentioned projects were implemented in close co-operation and consultation with other international organisations (in particular the EU, the OSCE and the UN) and other relevant international actors.

Needs assessment visits

62.         This third pilot project proposed in the second consolidated report is still under consideration and requires further consultations.

Ø  Proposals for further action

63.         During its visit to Georgia, the Secretariat discussed with relevant interlocutors (including civil society) in Tbilisi, Sukhumi and Gali new proposals aiming at enhancing people-to-people contacts, especially among additional targeted professional groups. These contacts, arranged notably through the Liaison mechanism, confirmed that a clear interest exists among potential participants to take part in such projects.

64.         As a result of the consultations held with the Georgian authorities, the initiatives below have been proposed for further action.

Theatre as a means to help children in distress

65.         A training seminar for teachers and child psychologists from the Gali district and Zugdidi to discuss how theatre can be used to help children having experienced or still experiencing serious psychological stress or traumas to overcome them. Participants will be encouraged to use the knowledge acquired in a concrete theatre representation in their school.

66.         A second seminar can be organised after the presentations have taken place to discuss the concrete results and the follow-up actions that can be undertaken.

Training for teachers in dealing with children suffering from psychological distress.

67.         A training seminar for teachers/teacher trainers to address cases of children in psychological distress because of extremely stressful or traumatic situations experienced in their daily life. In particular, early detection of distress and appropriate responses to violent or anti-social behaviour due to distress will be addressed.

Artists for dialogue

68.         Painters and photographers will be invited to propose productions representing the region to constitute an exhibition that will be shown in Tbilisi and Sukhumi as well as other cities on both sides of the ABL. A panel of five experts (two from each side of the ABL and one international expert) will select three from each category from each side to accompany the exhibition in Strasbourg.

Patients’ rights

69.         Through this activity, the Council of Europe will promote among healthcare professionals principles for the protection of patients’ rights both in daily and hospital care, through appropriate communication with patients and their participation in the decision-making process. Particular aspects that could be addressed are patients with mental disorders, terminally ill patients and patients from particularly vulnerable groups such as children and old people.

Sport rather than drugs

70.         A training seminar for persons responsible for the organisation and management of sport events for youth will be organised to discuss the role of sport in the prevention of the use of drugs and addictive substances. This seminar could be followed by a sport tournament for young people.

71.         After this seminar, a tag rugby tournament could be organised to create contacts among the 15-16 age group and raise their awareness of the consequences of the use of licit and illicit drugs. This will be done through presentations by local and European experts, supported by specific educational material.

72.         In addition to these proposals, the Secretary General is prepared to further consider options which could help to extend similar projects to groups and individuals in Tskhinvali.

73.         In preparation of this report, the Secretary General undertook concrete efforts with a view to facilitating a Secretariat visit to Tskhinvali. The Secretary General hopes that a visit could take place in the run-up to the next report, or at an earlier time. 



List of acronyms and abbreviations

ABL Administrative Boundary Line

CERD Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discriminations

COBERM Confidence Building Early Response Mechanism

EUMM European Monitoring Mission to Georgia

IDPs Internally Displaced Persons

IPRM Incident Prevention and Reaction Mechanism

MRA Minister of Internally Displaced Persons from the occupied Territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia

PDO Public Defender’s Office

SNID Status Neutral Identification Cards

SNTD Status Neutral Travel Document

WTO World Trade Organisation

[5] It is a fundamental objective of the member states of the Council of Europe to uphold the territorial integrity of Georgia. However, the Russian Federation recognised South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states on 26 August 2008.

[6] The liaison mechanism is a EU-funded and UNDP-implemented project which provides a channel for communication with Abkhaz counterparts for the international community to implement co-operation projects.

[7] Newly elected de facto President Ankvab announced intentions to upgrade the legal status of the Russian language making it the second state language.

[8] The Minister of Education and Culture of the Abkhaz government in exile refers to a total of thirty-one schools operating in the Gali district, of which eleven in the Lower Gali. Inconsistencies in the numbers of schools, school children and classes provided in Georgian or Russian depend on the different drawing of the Gali district boundaries.

[9] Participants in the 17th Round of the Geneva Discussions “welcomed the fact that the general situation has been calm and stable” since the previous round of talks. Press Communiqué of the Co-Chairs of Geneva Discussions, 4.10.2011, available on  

[10] For more information, please see DPA/Inf(2010)40 and DPA/Inf(2011)25.

[11] Such as the Law faculty of the University in Sukhumi.