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Russian high-ranking officials on their way to Abkhazia amid state coup attempt

May 28, 2014, 13:30 UTC+3 SUKHUM

The Abkhazian parliament, which has gathered for an extraordinary session, is drafting an address to the nation

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National flags of Abkhazia seen at a demonstration in Sukhum

National flags of Abkhazia seen at a demonstration in Sukhum

© ITAR-TASS/Vladimir Popov

SUKHUM, May 28. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s presidential aide Vladislav Surkov and Deputy Secretary of Russia’s Security Council Rashid Nurgaliyev are expected to arrive in Abkhazia in the afternoon, according to Abkhazia’s Security Council secretary Nugzar Ashuba.

Russia and the republic of Abkhazia maintain permanent contacts at all levels, however, the issue of the recent opposition protests against the republic’s authorities has not been discussed as of yet, Yury Ushakov, a Russian presidential aide, stated on Wednesday.

The Abkhazian parliament, which has gathered for an extraordinary session, “is drafting an address to the nation”, Ashuba told ITAR-TASS on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, opposition supporters who intend to block the road to President of the South Caucasian Republic of Abkhazia Alexander Ankvab, if he comes to his office, are meeting again at the republican presidential administration building.

Several oppositionists have spent last night at the presidential administration building. The president is in Abkhazia and did not leave the republic, the Abkhazian presidential information department said.

Republican state television is under control of opposition along with the presidential administration building.

The situation in Abkhazia’s capital, Sukhum, is stable in general, public transport is running, shops, cafes and restaurants are open.


Abkhazian conflict

The conflict between incumbent authorities and opposition broke out over issue of Abkhazian passports to residents of eastern border districts in the republic. These citizens are Georgian nationals who taking Abkhazian citizenship did not abandon Georgian citizenship that contradicts Abkhazian legislation. According to opposition, 27 thousand people received Abkhazian passports illegally and further issue of passports was suspended on opposition demand.

The opposition believes that a systemic crisis has broken out in the country and drastic measures are needed, including formation of a national trust government and transfer of several presidential powers to the parliament and government.

On Tuesday, a multi-thousand opposition rally was staged in central Sukhum. One of opposition leaders Raul Khadzhimba stated that the coordination council assumed provisional governance in the republic. The president was proposed to resign.

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