Ardzinba: Accession to Union State Fully in Fundamental Interests of Abkhazia

Abkhazia’s accession to the Union State of Russia and Belarus “is fully in the fundamental interests of the people of the republic”, the de-facto foreign minister of occupied Abkhazia, Inal Ardzinba, said to the Russian Channel One programme “Big Game”.

According to Ardzinba, representatives of Abkhazia are actively studying the experience of building the union state and the interaction between Russia and Belarus in various spheres, such as customs regulation and taxation. He noted: “We are separately studying the issues of military-technical interaction.”

“We are in favor of observing the principle of sovereign equality of states, when interstate associations respect countries, their identity, their cultural code, that is why we are together with the Russian Federation, we are together with the Republic of Belarus,” said Ardzinba, commenting on the earlier statement by the de-facto leader of occupied Abkhazia, Aslan Bzhania, who said during his visit to Moscow in early October that Abkhazia was “ready to participate in the Union State of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus.”

Commenting on the possible recognition of Abkhazia’s independence by Minsk, Ardzinba said that the groundwork was already being laid. “We are creating a basis for this decision, recognition cannot happen by itself, it has to be prepared. We need to formulate the principles of our joint work, and we need to start implementing the trade, economic and cultural-humanitarian projects that we are now carrying out together with our Belarusian colleagues,” Ardzinba stressed.

According to him, “deliveries of Abkhazian goods to Belarus have already taken place, and now the parties are implementing various cooperation projects”. He also noted that the construction of a large resort complex in the Ochamchire district of Abkhazia, together with the Belarusian side, was also under discussion.

He said that a large Abkhaz delegation is expected to visit Belarus in the near future to discuss with the Belarusian side cooperation in various fields.

On security issues, in particular the intention to establish a permanent base of the naval fleet in Ochamchire and whether this was in any way related to the outcome of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Ardzinba said that drawing parallels between Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh was not correct, if only because Abkhazia’s sovereignty “has been recognized by the largest country in the world – Russia”.

As for military-technical cooperation with Russia, Ardzinba called it the primary factor of security, noting that as a result of the negotiations there will be a “material and technical support base” and stressing that concrete work will begin in the near future.

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


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