Sokhumi signed a program on the “formation of common social and economic space” with Moscow, envisaging harmonization of the Abkhaz ‘laws’ with the legislation of the Russian Federation.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia decried the move as Moscow’s “another illegal step towards de-facto annexation” of occupied Abkhazia.
The program, based on the 2014 Russo-Abkhaz “Treaty of Alliance and Strategic Partnership” has been announced on November 23, following the meeting between Abkhaz leader Aslan Bzhania and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi on November 12.
The document, setting 2-3 years of time-frame for undertaking changes, contains 45 independent paragraphs, obliging Abkhaz side to make legislative and administrative amendments according to the Russian law in social, economic, health and political spheres, such as regulation of dual citizenship between occupied Sokhumi and Moscow, enactment of legal act on regular medicine services, provision of energy security of the region, and development of a law on investment partnership.
The program also envisages simplification of the law procedures for the Russian investors in terms of obtaining residence permit and registering work activities, harmonization of tax legislation with Russian model, adoption of a law on education system, and other important components gradually transforming Abkhaz ‘laws’ into an analogue to the Russian legislation.