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Russia credits former Abkhazian president Ankvab with preserving civil peace

MOSCOW, June 02. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia believes that former Abkhazian President Alexander Ankvab and other representatives of Abkhazia's leadership are credited with having preserved civil peace in the country and prevented a military scenario of events, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday.

“On June 1, President of the Republic of Abkhazia Alexander Ankvab announced his resignation,” the Russian Foreign Ministry recalled.

“Throughout the past few days, the Russian Foreign Ministry was following, with alarm and concern, the aggravation of the situation in friendly Abkhazia, where after opposition rallies on May 27, processes of domestic political struggle went beyond the limits of the legal field,” the ministry said.

“In this situation, Alexander Ankvab and other members of the republic’s government are undoubtedly credited with having preserved civil peace, prevented development of a military scenario of events, which would certainly have had the most tragic consequences,” it said.

The ministry also said Moscow will be ready to continue large-scale work to develop and strengthen Russian-Abkhazian relations developed in the past few years jointly with the new Abkhazian authorities.

“The people of Abkhazia will have to speak during early presidential elections in August,” the ministry said. “Russia will respect the expression of their will."

Ankvab was elected President of the Republic of Abkhazia on August 26, 2011 gaining 54.9 percent of the vote. He took office on September 26, 2011. On May 27, 2014, the Abkhazian opposition gathered thousands of people in the center of the capital Sukhum demanding the resignation of Ankvab and the Abkhazian government. On May 29, the parliament suggested that the president step down voluntarily. Ankvab tendered his resignation on June 1. Russia and Georgia cut off diplomatic ties after Russia recognized as independent two Georgian breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The recognition followed Georgia's attack on South Ossetia that entailed Russia's peacemaking operation in August 2008.