An agreement for Abkhazia and Russia to join military forces brought demonstrators out in the thousands, in the Georgian capital Tbilisi, on Saturday.

Russia recognised Abkhazia's independence after a five-day war with Georgia in 2008, when it helped the separatist region of South Ossetia breakaway from Georgia. 

The demonstration was provoked by fears that military cooperation between Russia and Abkhazia would just be a step towards Russian annexation of the breakwaway Georgian province. Russian President Vladimir Putin had met with the self-styled president of Abkhazia Alexander Ankvab on August 25 at the fifth anniversary of the province's attempt at secession.

More than 30,000 people have staged a protest against Russia’s attempt to firm up ties with Abkhazia on Saturday. The demonstrators also accused their own government of doing nothing to defend the national interests.

The protesters were led by a former opposition leader from Mikheil Saakashvili’s party United National Movement. They chanted against Russia and their own government holding Georgian flags and banners.

The former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili showed his support of ongoing demonstrations from Ukraine's capital of Kiev via a video conference saying they would continue to fight against the Russian occupation.  Saakashvili faces a Georgian arrest warrant for abuse of power during his term as president, a charge he says is politically motivated.

In addition, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe expressed its "deep concern" at the treaty proposed on Oct. 13 by Russia for the “alliance and integration” of the former Georgian republic.

“This proposed agreement violates international law and is another example of the creeping annexation of the Georgian region of Abkhazia by the Russian Federation,” the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe co-rapporteurs said.

The self-declared independent state of Abkhazia is recognized by Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Nauru.

Anadolu Agency