|BUKET's captain is sentenced to 24 years in custody|
|News - Conflict|
|Tuesday, 01 September 2009 23:20|
Georgian sea patrol officers impounded the Buket on August 16 as it was carrying over 2,000 of gasoline and 770 metric tons of diesel to Abkhazia. Tbilisi seized the shipments as unauthorized and illegal.
Abkhazian Foreign Minister Sergei Shamba said after the sentencing that Abkhazia would follow Georgia's lead and seize vessels in a similar fashion.
"Exactly as they are doing this, we will show that we can do the same in neutral waters," Shamba said. "If no one wants to react to the waters of the Black Sea becoming a zone of such actions, we will also act this way."
Abkhazian President Sergei Bagpash on August 18 accused Georgian authorities of destabilizing the situation in the region and called on the UN Security Council, the EU and French President Nicolas Sarkozy to make a proper assessment of Georgia's actions and assist in recovering the vessel seized by the Georgian patrol.
Bagapsh also threatened "appropriate measures" to protect commercial cargoes bound for Abkhazia in the future.
On August 26, the republic celebrated the first anniversary of Russia's recognition of its independence. So far the only other country to have recognized it and South Ossetia is Nicaragua.
Source: Ria Novosti