Less than a week after being elected as speaker of Russia's upper house of parliament, Valentina Matviyenko, arrived in Sokhumi on Monday to attend inauguration of new Abkhaz leader Aleksander Ankvab.
Her press office said that it was Matviyenko’s “first foreign trip” since becoming the chairperson of the Federation Council; it said that during the one-day visit to Sokhumi, Matviyenko would “exchange opinions on broad range of bilateral issues” with the Abkhaz leadership.
Matviyenko, former St. Petersburg governor and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s ally, was elected as speaker of the Federation Council on September 21.
Meanwhile in Sokhumi, a powerful car explosion hit one of the central streets of the breakaway region’s capital on September 24. No one was injured in the blast, reportedly triggered by an explosive device placed in the car. There have not been reports about who owned the car. One man died in a separate car blast in Sokhumi on September 21.