MOSCOW (Reuters) – Georgia’s breakaway region Abkhazia said on Saturday Tbilisi had planned to take the area over by military force earlier this year but failed in its mission, Russian agencies reported.
“(The) plan was the seizure of Abkhazia, to be carried out by the Georgian military,” Itar-Tass agency quoted separatist leader Sergei Bagapsh as saying in Abkhazia’s capital Sukhumi.
Bagapsh said the attack had been planned for April-May of this year, and would have involved simultaneous attacks on the ground.
Abkhazia “succeeded in preventing” the full attack from coming to fruition, he added.
A popular Soviet-era resort, Abkhazia threw off Tbilisi’s rule in a 1990s separatist war. It is not recognized by any state, but runs its own affairs.
Earlier this week, Abkhazia said it was sealing itself off from Georgian-controlled territory after a series of explosions it blamed on Tbilisi.
In April and May, Georgian spy drones were shot down over Abkhazia by Abkhazian forces, but Georgia denied there had been any flights in the area.
Russia provides financial aid and has peacekeepers in the region, which it says are preventing further bloodshed. Georgia, an aspiring NATO member, accuses Moscow of trying to annex Abkhazia.