SUKHUM, November 23. /TASS/. The Treaty on Allied Relations and Strategic Partnership the presidents of the two countries plan to sign in Sochi on November 24 will bind the partis to undertake mutual liabilities on coordinated foreign policy, Abkhazian President Raul Khadzhimba said on Sunday.
“Coordinated foreign policy means mutual obligations of Russia and Abkhazia,” he told the national television. “It means that the sides will consult each other to work out common approaches on issues that concern common interests.”
He said this was the common pattern to build relations between allied states. He cited the European Union as an example. “It is to be understood that further recognition of Abkhazia by other countries will be possible only with Russia’s support. And it undertakes these obligations under this treaty,” he stressed.
Apart from that, “we will have possibilities for technical and engineering backing for our border with Georgia,” he noted. “It is a very expensive issue and we are unlikely to cope with it unaided. It is rather expensive for Russia too, but it does it in our common interests.”
As for social insurance, “for more than a decade, Russia has been paying pensions to Abkhazian retirees,” Khadzhimba said. “Despite the difficult economic situation in Russia, it nonetheless undertakes to raise these pensions to Russia’s average.”
“Salaries to most of budget-paid employees will be raised too. And it will be a very weighty help to our citizens,” the Abkhazian president went on to say. “This assistance is not going to be endless. The treaty has its terms. That is why we must use this period to create our own real economy to be able to ensure that our citizens have worthy salaries and pensions.”
Russia, according to Khadzhumba, is helping Abkhazia because “in the most difficult years when we were an unrecognized state, we committed ourselves to historic allied relations.” “Otherwise, NATO troops were already there, at Russia’s southern border. We have defended ourselves and concurrently protected Russia’s interests,” he said.
Quite another this, in his words, is how this assistance is used. “It was systematically embezzled and used to sponsor non-efficient projects,” he said, adding however that “a number of social problems have been solved but the real sector of the economy has received nothing, and this is the fault of the Abkhazian authorities.”
“Today, together with Russian colleagues, we are wording a new investment programme that will be geared to develop the real economy, in particular depressed regions in Eastern Abkhazia. These will be new production lines, new jobs, wages, etc,” the Abkhazian president said. “We will use Russia’s help not to breed dependence and parasitic attitudes but to foster growth of our own economic possibilities.”
“And there can be no sovereignty without strong economy, however many times we repeat this word,” Khadzhimba stressed.