MOSCOW, August 23. /TASS/. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Abkhazian Defense Minister Mirab Kishmaria have signed the agreement on financing the costs of the modernization of the republic’s armed forces.
"Today we will study and sign the agreement on further development of our military-technical cooperation and the modernization of the Armed Forces of Abkhazia. Welcome to Moscow," Shoigu said at the meeting with his Abkhazian counterpart.
He reiterated that Russia and Abkhazia enjoy common defense and security space. "We were the first to recognize the republic’s independence and we continue to offer it comprehensive help. The documents and agreements signed in 2014 and 2015 and, naturally, our military base, which we are strengthening and which is a guarantor of stability thanks to our joint efforts, are of great importance," Shoigu highlighted.
The Abkhazian defense minister, for his part, expressed gratitude for Russia’s contribution to the republic’s security. "The fact that the seventh base and the joint group that we set up is providing security is of special gratitude. [This is] first of all your merit, the merit of your officers and generals who are providing security jointly with our officers and generals and the defense ministry. I reiterate my gratitude for the statehood that our armies are providing," Kishmaria concluded.
Russia-Abkhazia military cooperation
The military cooperation of the two states officially started when Russia recognized Abkhazia as an independent state. This took place following Georgia’s aggression against Abkhazia and South Ossetia in August 2008. Russian peacemakers made the Georgian army agree to a ceasefire, thus guaranteeing security for the citizens of the two republics that were unrecognized then. After repelling aggression on the territory of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two military bases of the Russian Armed Forces were established to ensure the republics’ security in the future.