TBILISI, DFWatch–The public broadcaster in Georgia on Tuesday reported that the Russian Olympic Committee has listed Abkhazia and South Ossetia as separate countries to take part in the winter Olympics in Sochi in February.
“This is very unpleasant precedent and we will have adequate reaction,” Elguja Berishvili, vice president of Georgia’s Olympic Committee says.
“Abkhazia and South Ossetia are not recognized by the UN and 99 percent of countries in the world and this is natural, and participation in Olympic games as separate countries is excluded.”
The government in Georgia is preparing a note of protest.
The two Georgian regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia became disputed during the breakup of the Soviet Union in the early 90s. A bloody war in the former led to an exodus of more than two hundred thousand people who are still waiting to return.
Russia intervened on the side of the breakaway regions, and again in the 2008 war, after which it recognized them as independent states, but built up a heavy military presence, taking control over expanded de facto borders.
President Saakashvili earlier planned for Georgia to boycott the Sochi Olympics, but the new Ivanishvili government which came to power in 2012 decided to participate.