MOSCOW, August 24. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with his Abkhazian and South Ossetian counterparts, Raul Khadzhimba and Anatoly Bibilov, in Moscow on Friday, ahead of the 10th anniversary of Russia’s recognition of these republics to be marked on August 26.
"The talks are expected to focus on the current state of and prospects for further development of bilateral cooperation in various spheres to boost socio-economic development in these republics," the Kremlin press service said.
The South Ossetian president in on a visit to Russia from August 23 to August 25. According to his press service, Bibilov and Putin "will sum up the results of the ten-year period and will outline further ways for the development of integration processes." The South Ossetian president is being accompanied by Prime Minister Erik Pukhayev, presidential administration chief Igor Kozayev and Finance Minister Aza Khabalova.
The press service of the Abkhazian leader also said that the two presidents, Raul Khadzhimba of Abkhazia and Vladimir Putin of Russia, "will discuss issues of bilateral cooperation and further development of bilateral relations." The Abkhazian delegation includes Prime Minister Gennady Guliya, presidential administration chief Beslan Bartsits and Finance Minister Dzhansukh Nanba.
Putin maintain regular contacts with the Abkhzian and South Ossetian leaders. His latest contact with his South Ossetian counterpart, Anatoly Bibilov, took place on July 30, 2018, when the two leaders discussed current issues of bilateral cooperation over the phone. Before that, they met in person in November 2017, in Novo-Ogaryovo.
The latest top-level Russian-Abkhazian talks were held on August 8, 2017 in Pitsunda, Abkhazia.
The Abkhazian and South Ossetian presidents were among other foreign leaders who attended the final match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Moscow.
Russia recognized Abkhazia’s and South Ossetia’s independence on August 26, 2008, after Georgia’s armed aggression against South Ossetia on August 8. Back then, Russia had to get involved to protect South Ossetia’s people, many of whom had Russian passports, and its peacekeepers who had been present in the region since 1992. The five-day conflict claimed the lives of more than 1,000 people, including 72 Russian peacekeepers.