The European Union and NATO refused to recognise the elections in Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia, held on Friday, which saw Alexander Ankvab, a Moscow loyal, earn a resounding victory.
Alexander Ankvab, a former pro-Russian businessman who was appointed acting president after the death of Georgia’s president in May, won the election with 54.9% of votes, according to official results published on Saturday (27 August).
The elections were held on 26 August, three years after a brief Russian military intervention which saw Moscow seize control of Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Russian President Dimitry Medvedev congratulated Ankvab, wishing him “every success” in his new position. Medvedev and Ankvab “confirmed their commitment to further strengthening Russian-Abkhazian relations,” the Kremlin said in a statement.
The Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, meanwhile, described the vote as “mockery of international law”. All three candidates in the election, including Ankvab, were against any reunification with Georgia.
The election results were rejected by EU foreign policy Chief Catherine Ashton, who reiterated the European Union’s “support to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia, as recognised by international law”.