Despite protests from the Georgian side, representatives from Abkhazia have participated in an international tourist exhibition in Prague at Holiday World 2018 from 15 to 18 February as an independent state. The delegation, which was represented at the exhibition as “The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Abkhazia” brought information pamphlets and other materials about ..." />

Politicians protest against representation of Abkhazia as independent state at Prague exhibition

Despite protests from the Georgian side, representatives from Abkhazia have participated in an international tourist ...

Despite protests from the Georgian side, representatives from Abkhazia have participated in an international tourist exhibition in Prague at Holiday World 2018 from 15 to 18 February as an independent state.

The delegation, which was represented at the exhibition as “The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Abkhazia” brought information pamphlets and other materials about the tourism potential in Abkhazia in addition to alcoholic drinks and products manufactured locally.

“We want as many Czechs as possible to find out about Abkhazia,” said Irada, the delegation representative. “The interest in our stand was big,” she added.

The senior advisor to the Georgian ambassador in the Czech Republic, Mikheil Chkhivadze, says that the Georgian side did all it could to prevent the participation of Abkhazia as an independent state. However, it was ultimately unsuccessful as Holiday World was organised by a private company and neither the Czech nor Georgian authorities were able to influence their decision.

“The so-called ‘Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Abkhazia’ was also registered at the exhibition as a private company,” the senior advisor of the embassy said.

The participation of Abkhazia gave rise to discontent among several Czech politicians as well.

“This is embarrassing for the Czech Republic,” said Czech MP Jaromir Stetina to journalists. “I am ashamed for the Ministry of Regional Development of the Czech Republic which allowed for Abkhazia’s representation with such a status at the exhibition. I believe that they should apologize [to Georgia].”

“This is a classic provocation,” said Ondra Soukup, a writer for the Czech paper Hospodarske Noviny.

He says that the initiator of the Abkhaz presence at the exhibition was a group that ‘is funded by someone from the Kremlin’.

“These are the same forces that registered themselves in the Czech Republic as the non-governmental organisation ‘Friendship With the People of Donbass’. This is a useful tool and it is difficult to combat,” said Soukup.

Abkhazia proclaimed independence from Georgia in the 1990s, but Georgia categorically states that Abkhazia is a part of Georgia. Abkhazia’s independence is recognised only by the Russian Federation and three other states.

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