Kremlin-backed Abkhaz leader Aslan Bzhania held a series of meetings on April 20-26 with Russian authorities during his sixth Moscow trip as the leader of the occupied region.
According to Bzhania’s press service, On April 23, Abkhaz leader held a meeting with the Russian Head of Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor) Anna Popova.
Bzhania informed Popova about the region’s “readiness to ensure the epidemiological safety of Russian tourists during the coming holiday season.” He noted that local medical institutions are ready to provide proper assistance if necessary. Popova, on her part, said she is ready to discuss the issues of opening a new tourist season with relevant Abkhaz “governmental agencies.”
Earlier on the same day, Bzhania met with the Deputy Head of the Russian Presidential Administration Dmitry Kozak. The parties touched upon “a wide range of Abkhaz-Russian cooperation issues, in particular, the progress in the implementation of the investment program to promote the socio-economic development of Abkhazia.”
A day before, Aslan Bzhania met with the Head of the Administrative Directorate of the Russian President Alexander Kolpakov. The meeting was also attended by the First Deputy of the Administrative Directorate Pavel Fradkov and the Governor of Krasnodar Krai Veniamin Kondratyev. The Abkhaz leader’s press service noted that the parties discussed “the issues of cooperation,” without disclosing any further details.
Bzhania held his first separate meetings of the visit on April 21 with the Director-General of Rosgosstrakh, one of the largest Moscow-based insurance companies, Gennadiy Galperin and the Head of the Federal Air Transport Agency Aleksandr Neradko. With Galperin, Bzhania discussed Rosgosstrakh’s “proposal on cooperation,” while with Neradko, the main topic of the meeting was reconstruction and reopening of the Sokhumi airport which remains closed since 1993.
“At present, the working group of Russian-Abkhaz specialists has been created, which has already formed a roadmap,” Bzhania’s press service noted, adding that the work is underway to prepare the facility for the further examinations.
Alleged meeting with the Georgian businessmen
Russian popular Telegram channel WarGonzo, which actively broadcasts the political events of the region, reported on April 21 that Aslan Bzhania attended an event with the participation of “authoritative Georgian businessmen.”
According to the channel, the meeting took place “in a warm and friendly atmosphere in one of the elite Moscow restaurants.”
“While the hero of the Donetsk People’s Republic Akhra Avidzba is in the Sukhumi pre-detention cell on dubious charges, and the Russian Donbass is on the verge of a major war, the President of Abkhazia is actively forging ties with Georgian capital,” the channel slammed Abkhaz leader, adding that Abkhazia tries “to sit in two chairs.”
Aslan Bzhania has yet to comment about the alleged meeting with the Georgian businessmen.