Russian Deputy Economy Minister Dmitry Volvach and Deputy Energy Minister Evgeniy Grabchak arrived in Sokhumi on September 2, where they met with Moscow-backed Abkhaz leader Aslan Bzhania and “prime minister” Alexander Ankvab, among others.
According to Sokhumi-based Apsnypress media outlet, during the meeting, Bzhania stressed the importance of Russian investments for creating a common space for socio-economic development under the 2014 Russo-Abkhaz “Treaty of Alliance and Strategic Partnership.”
“We cannot do without Russian support and investment in infrastructure,” Bzhania was cited as saying, and requesting greater coverage of the 2022-25 program for Abkhazia’s socio-economic development, currently in works.
Bzhania noted the new program is supposed to cover the development of road infrastructure, electricity, gas and water supply, sewerage, restoration of the airport and railways, and others, according to Apsnypress.
The Kremlin-backed leader also appealed for the delegation’s support in receiving more doses of the Russian-made COVID-19 vaccines. Bzhania said the issue of immunization remains acute despite Abkhazia having received two batches of the Russian-made jabs already, according to the Abkhaz leader’s press service.
Deputy Economy Minister Dmitry Volvach stated there is further work to be done in the areas of cultural heritage and energy, to be prioritized either in the next or in the existing assistance programs by Moscow.
Meanwhile, he pointed out, trade turnover between Russia and Abkhazia increased by 43% to more than USD 143 million. “The economies of our countries are getting closer,” he noted.
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