SUKHUM, September 26 (Itar-Tass) — Abkhazia welcomes Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s intention to run for presidency in 2012, President of Abkhazia Alexander Ankvab told reporters on Monday after meeting with the speaker of the Russian Federation Council upper house of parliament, Valentina Matviyenko.
At a congress of the United Russia Party, President Dmitry Medvedev offered to support Putin’s candidacy for president, saying that he himself was ready to work in the government.
“The two leaders have demonstrated to the world their attitude to Abkhazia, and tomorrow is not indifferent to us,” Ankvab stressed. According to him, “Russia’s steady progress is a very important factor for Abkhazia”.
Focusing on military cooperation, Ankvab said “the whole range of military cooperation with Russia ensures security of the country for a free development”.
“In the recent past sizable amounts of money from the budget of Abkhazia were spent on the armed forces of the republic. Now we can redirect a considerable part of that sum to absolutely different aims,” the president stressed.
He noted that stationing in Abkhazia at the present moment are the seventh military base of the Russian Defence Ministry as well as a border guard department of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which is settled on the state border with Georgia.
We will jointly guard the border there, he said. “This complex of spheres ensures security of our country for a free development,” the Abkhazian leader added.
On Monday, Ankvab was inaugurated as President of Abkhazia. He won the early presidential elections, which were held on August 26.
Three candidates, namely Alexander Ankvab, Raul Khadzhimba and Sergei Shamba were running for presidency.
According to the election returns, Ankvab gained 54.9% of votes (58,657 people), Raul Khadzhimba – 19.82% (21,177 people), Sergei Shamba – 21.02% (22,456 people).
Ankvab gained the highest percentage of votes in the Abkhazian capital and in all districts of the republic, as well as at the polling stations in Moscow and Cherkessk.