Russian officials from various ministries and agencies, led by Deputy Minister of Economic Development Dmitry Volvach are visiting Abkhazia to discuss economic cooperation. An agreement on 2022-2025 plan for Abkhazia’s economic development has been reached, Apsnypress reported.
The Russian Deputy Minister had met with the Abkhaz “prime minister” Alexander Ankvab and several other members of the “government” on June 29.
Saying that he expected the signing of the 2022-2025 program in the near future, Volvach said “packages of projects and agreements for the program of the new investment cycle,” are being worked through. He particularly stressed the need for “economic modernization” of this occupied region of Georgia, and pledged direct Russian investments, with the caveat that “they will be reliably protected in the legal sphere.”
Particular attention was paid to curbing the rising prices of petroleum products, and Russian investments in Abkhazia’s tourist infrastructure, including resuming traffic through the airport of Sokhumi.
Russian salaries to Abkhaz civil servants
Local official media reported that an agreement had been reached for Russia to continue paying the salaries of the Abkhaz administrative officials until the end of 2025. While the Russian Deputy Minister stressed the importance of their salaries following the growth of average salaries in the occupied regions, Ankvab warned against the apparently common practice of one person formally occupying several posts to cumulate salaries, which, according to him is tantamount to the “theft of public funds.”
Since the mismanagement of the Russian assistance by the occupation authorities remains a persistent problem, the strategy for eliminating the violations identified by the Russian Federal treasury regarding the spending of the Russian aid in 2019-2021 was reviewed. In a joint commission meeting, the Abkhaz side reported about ongoing economic projects and the spending of Russian funds, and presented new projects in healthcare and social sectors.