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MOSCOW, March 12 (Itar-Tass) – The volume of trade between Russia and Abkhazia has reached 292.2 million US dollars, over 50 companies with Russian participation work in the country, the Kremlin press service reported announcing Tuesday’s meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and President of the Republic of Abkhazia Alexander Ankvab, who arrived in Moscow on a working visit. The previous meeting between the two leaders was held in Sochi on May 11, 2012.
The legal framework of the Russian-Abkhaz relations is being actively developed and improved, the sides have signed 76 agreements and contracts, about 30 more projects are the works, the press service stressed.
The parties will discuss at the meeting topical issues of the further development of interstate relations that are based on the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Abkhazia of September 17, 2008. The priority spheres of cooperation are the restoration and development of the economy, social and humanitarian spheres of the young state. The Comprehensive Plan to promote socio-economic development of Abkhazia in 2010-2012 has been implemented, and the wok on the preparation of the Investment Program for the period up to 2015 is underway.
Russia provided to Abkhazia large-scale economic-financial and expert assistance. The activity of the Interdepartmental Commission for the Development of Russia’s Cooperation with the Republic of Abkhazia and the Republic of South Ossetia, created in 2012, is aimed at this. The Intergovernmental Commission on Socioeconomic Cooperation is functioning on the bilateral basis since 2009. Its regular meeting is to be held in Moscow in the first half of 2013.
Abkhazia annually holds Russian-Abkhaz business forums. The latest, fourth such meeting of the two countries’ businesses was held in Sukhum on November 15-17, 2012.
Major importance is attached to the bilateral cooperation in the cultural and educational spheres. The first Russian-Abkhazian Humanitarian Forum Russia-Abkhazia: towards the Development of Social Dialogue was held in Sukhum in April 2012. In May 2013, it is planned to hold the second forum in the Abkhazian capital. The Russian Ministry of Education annually provides to the Abkhaz side scholarships for the study in Russian universities, both Moscow and regional.
The bilateral inter-regional relations are actively developed. More than 30 subjects of the Russian Federation have already signed cooperation agreements with Abkhazia. The closest contacts have been established with Moscow, the Krasnodar Territory, the republics of the North Caucasus.
This year marks the fifth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries on September 9, 2008. “Recognizing the independence of Abkhazia, Russia has responded to the free will of the Abkhaz people,” the document says. In addition to Russia, Abkhazia was recognised as an independent state by Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nauru, Vanuatu and Tuvalu. Sukhum has established trade, economic and humanitarian relations with many countries of the Middle East, Latin America and Oceania.