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Abkhazia’s President-Elect hopes for signing new interstate treaty with Russia

August 26, 2014, 7:00 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Raul Khadjimba recalled his country’s vital strategic location and described the relationship between Abkhazia and Russia as “the one between friendly states and strategic partners”

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Abkhazia’s President-Elect Raul Khadjimba

Abkhazia’s President-Elect Raul Khadjimba

© ITAR-TASS / Vladimir Popov

MOSCOW, August 26 /ITAR-TASS/. Abkhazia’s President-Elect Raul Khadjimba, who stood at the head of political opposition in the young South-Caucasian nation until Sunday’s early presidential election, hopes that his country and Russia will sign a new interstate treaty before the end of this year.

Khadjimba, 56, told the Moscow-based Izvestia daily he hopes that the new treaty will embrace problems of security and state border, as well as social and many other issues important for Abkhazia.

He recalled his country’s vital strategic location and described the relationship between Abkhazia and Russia as “the one between friendly states and strategic partners.”

Khadjimba, who was an inspirer of the protests actions on May 27 and May 28, when the people discontent with former president seized the presidential residence, said the way his predecessors had used Russian financial aid gave rise to a number of questions.

“These finances should have had a totally different effect on the situation in this country but, unfortunately, they didn’t,” he said.

A former KGB officer and the commander of Abkhazian counter-intelligence during the Georgian-Abkhazian armed conflict of 1992 and 1993, Khadjimba said a number of materials pertaining to the activity of the previous government had been gathered and submitted to the office of the Prosecutor General’s Office.

“New materials will be submitted there in the future, too,” he said.

Khadjimba believes that Abkhazia stands in need of a change of balance among the branches of power, as a part of presidential powers should clearly go over to parliament. This does not mean in any way that the President will be deprived of functions and powers.

“The head of state and members of parliament will be linked by appropriate provisions, which will enable them to cooperate better,” he said.

Khadjimba admitted that the people employed in Abkhazia’s once mighty tour industry do not have practically any stimuli today and “they need support and social guarantees, which will help them to praise their work higher.”

He proposes to promote new fields in tourism, including the development of new tourist sights, as an impressive number of natural and historical sites are located in the eastern parts of the country.

Khadjimba indicated among other things that Abkhazia has fair opportunities for ethnographic tourism. He said with a note of sadness that tourists are most attracted to his country by the Black Sea shore while the eastern parts of the countries remain in the grips of economic depression.

In addition to it, he said he would like to make Abkhazia an all-season tourist destination, “not the way it is now when the season lasts from May through to October.”

The presidential election was followed by a three-day vacation. As of Tuesday, the country begins to celebrate an anniversary of recognition of its independence from Georgia by Russia.

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