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Russia Ponders Abkhazia Investments Ahead of Olympics

Russia will not invest in Abkhazia without Tbilisi?s agreement, Russia?s ambassador to Georgia, Vyacheslav Kovalenko, said.

He admitted Russia was interested in exploring Abkhazia?s potential as a supplier of materials for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

He stressed, however, ?no one has ever said that Russia is going to do this without Georgia.?

The Russian diplomat?s remarks were aimed at appeasing the Georgian authorities, who had been angered by previous statements from Russian officials.

Russian Vice-Premier Alexander Zhukov, for example, said on July 19 that cement-producing factories could be built in Abkhazia to supply the construction of infrastructure in Sochi.

Georgian State Minister for Conflict Resolution Issues Davit Bakradze said on July 27 that Tbilisi would only welcome investment in Abkhazia, if it were agreed in advance with Tbilisi. ?Unilateral investment projects are inadmissible,? he said.

Parliamentary Chairperson Nino Burjanadze has also warned Russia against unilateral investments in Abkhazia.

She said on July 26 that if Russia continued such investments, the Sochi Olympic Games ?may share the same fate as the Moscow Olympic Games? ? a reference to the 1980 Summer Olympics, which were boycotted by over 40 nations, in protest at the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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