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Tbilisi 'Aggravating the Situation': Abkhazia Threatens Georgia with Second Front - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News

Georgia's march into South Ossetia has prompted the Abkhazia to begin preparing for war as well. Abkhazian Foreign Minister Sergei Shamba told SPIEGEL ONLINE that his province might open up a second front.

 A Russian peacekeeper mans a checkpoint in the breakaway region of Abkhazia.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: How is Abkhazia reacting to the events in South Ossetia?

Shamba: We have a deal with South Ossetia on how we will deal with crisis situations. And we are now planning on implementing it. Our security council met all night and ordered our army to deploy this morning to the Georgian border.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Will a second front now be opened in Abkhazia?

Shamba: That depends on how the situation in South Ossetia develops. We understand very well that we Abkhazians are next in line after South Ossetia. If the situation doesn't stabilize again, then we will have to open a second front.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Why did the situation suddenly escalate now to the degree it has?

Shamba: After the recognition of Kosovo, the situation intensified and Georgia understands that it is losing South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Further talks will only serve to distance the two republics even further from Georgia. That's why the Georgians themselves have started to aggravate the situation, violating previous agreements and applying constant pressure. That has led to a counter response and the situation has gotten out of control. We actually expected this in Abkhazia, but now it is happening in South Ossetia.

by Fran on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 06:27:31 AM EST

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