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Abkhazia to develop strategic partnership with Russia - pres

October 06, 2011, 16:05 UTC+3

"There are concrete proofs to it. But we will be working on it," Ankvab noted

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MOSCOW, October 6 (Itar-Tass) — Abkhazia President Alexander Ankvab stated that the republic plans to develop strategic partnership with Russia, despite the "nervous reaction" on the part of other countries.

"Abkhazia regards Russia as a strategic partner, and intends to strengthen these relations," Ankvab said after talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday.

He underlined that at present, Abkhazian-Russian relations are strengthening "despite the fact that there are many political forces that are nervous - they are European political forces -- and not only them."

"There are concrete proofs to it. But we will be working on it," Ankvab noted.

Speaking about substantial support from Russia, the Abkhazian leader underlined that Russia "is the only country in the world that was helping Abkhazia in difficult times with deeds, not talk."

Direct financial support from Russia has reached over 14 billion roubles since 2005. "Today, 323,000 Abkhazian pensioners who properly served our common country in the past, receive the Russian pension. The monthly payment of pensions in Abkhazia is worth 146 million roubles. Abkhazia is well aware that its budget would not bear this load given many problems left by the war.

"It's extremely important to us that today, safety has been guaranteed to Abkhazia, which considerably changed the situation within the country.

"We have real opportunities today to focus on socio-economic development," the president underlined noting that the oppressive situation in which the Abkhazian people lived for many years is gone by now.

For his part, President Medvedev told reporters that Moscow would continue the course towards comprehensive support of Abkhazia.

"Russia will continue to provide comprehensive support to the brotherly Abkhazian people," Medvedev said.

He noted that the parties had discussed economic cooperation issues during the talks.

"It is important to make trade turnover more balanced," the Russian leader said noting that it had doubled since the establishment of inter-state relations.

At present, Russian-Abkhazian legal and contractual basis comprises more than 60 documents of various levels, and another 30 are in the works.

Medvedev signed the federal laws ratifying the agreements with Abkhazia and South Ossetia on the Russian military bases in their territory, the Kremlin press service reported on Thursday.

The documents set the timeframe for the stay of Russian bases in Abkhazia and South Ossetia at 49 years, with the possibility of automatic prolongation every 15 years.

They set the procedure for the functioning of the united Russian military bases to protect the sovereignty and security of the Russian Federation, the republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the flights of Russian aircraft, warships and auxiliary vessels, and ground transport. The agreements also set the procedures for using means of communication and border crossing.

They spell out the procedure for use of immovable property, including land plots, designate the status of military bases' personnel and members of servicemen’s families and civilians.

Specifically, Russian servicemen and their families will enjoy privileges and immunity envisioned for administrative and technical personnel of diplomatic missions.

Abkhazia and South Ossetia are expected to pass to Russia the immovable property in the areas which will accommodate the bases.

The parliaments of Abkhazia and South Ossetia have already ratified these agreements.

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