A joint Abkhaz-Russian commission “on border delimitation and demarcation between the Russian Federation and Republic of Abkhazia” will hold its second meeting in Moscow on March 28-April 1, Abkhaz news agency, Apsnipress, reported.
It has been speculated in the Abkhaz press recently that the issue may become a source of contention between Moscow and Sokhumi.
Abkhaz newspaper, Novy Den (New Day), which is critical to the government, ran an article on March 14 according to which Moscow wants to grab 160 square kilometer land deep inside the Abkhaz territory, whose current total area is 8,665 sq. km.
According to the newspaper after the first meeting of the joint Abkhaz-Russian border demarcation commission held in November, 2010, Moscow sent to Sokhumi a proposal according to which 160 sq. km. mountainous area in the northern part of border across the Psou river should be considered as the territory of the Russian Federation.
The Novy Den reported that a member of commission from the Abkhaz side, MP Valery Kvarchia, declined to comment on the matter.
According to the same report other Abkhaz members of the commission told the newspaper privately that Russia’s ambassador in Sokhumi requested to the Abkhaz side not to speak with the press about ongoing border talks.
The Novy Den also reported, citing its unnamed sources, that Abkhaz leader, Sergey Bagapsh was strongly against of the proposal offered by Moscow.