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Abkhazia Wants Role in Preparation of Sochi Olympics

Although no official proposal has been made by the Russian authorities about Abkhazia?s involvement in preparations for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, Abkhaz leader Sergey Bagapsh said consultations had been held with private Russian companies on using construction materials available in Abkhazia for building Olympic facilities.

Sochi will need at least 20 million cubic meters of construction aggregates for Olympic facilities, Bagapsh said on August 2, according to Apsnipress. ?We can produce a million cubic meters of aggregate if we properly organize production.?
Private Russian companies, he said, were ready to invest USD 15 million in Abkhazia for the production of construction aggregate.

?We are currently working with commercial structures and there are no inter-state relations on this issue with Russia,? Bagapsh said.

He, however, did not rule out that talks with Russian central authorities, as well as with the authorities of the Krasnodar district which borders Abkhazia, were possible in the nearest future.

Bagapsh also pointed out that Abkhazia?s involvement in the Olympic projects was of crucial importance as it would boost the region?s economy.

There have been mixed signals coming from different Russian officials on Abkhazia?s possible role in the preparations for the Olympic Games in Sochi, which is less than 40 kilometers from the breakaway region.

Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov said on July 9 that it was difficult to imagine holding the Olympics in Sochi without the participation of ?such a kind neighbor as Abkhazia.?

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

These remarks prompted angry reaction in Tbilisi, which has warned Russia against unilateral investments in Abkhazia without prior agreement with the Georgian side.

On July 27 the Russian ambassador to Georgia, Vyacheslav Kovalenko, said although Moscow was interested in Abkhazia?s involvement ?no one has ever said that Russia is going to do this without Georgia.?

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


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