Russia’s President Vladimir Putin met with leader of breakaway Abkhazia, Alexander Ankvab, at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow on March 12 and discussed “development of cooperation between Russia and Abkhazia,” the Kremlin said.
“We will soon mark five-year anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations,” Putin told Ankvab. “We can sum up some of the results of how Abkhazia is getting on its feet, how problems, which you are facing and which, like anywhere else, are more than desired, are being solved. Anyway, these problems need to be resolved no matter how difficult they might seem to be. I hope that during these consultations we will be able to draw some conclusions and look into those tasks, which we can jointly resolve in the nearest future.”
Ankvab thanked Putin for supporting Abkhazia and told him: “It’s very important for our development.” He also said that Sokhumi was preparing for marking five-year anniversary of recognition by Russia. After the war with Georgia in 2008, Moscow recognized breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia on August 26, 2008.
Ankvab also said that he had already discussed in Moscow broad range of issues “which will foster improvement of existing conditions in Abkhazia.”
Earlier on March 12, commenting on planned meeting between Ankvab and Putin, Georgia’s Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze said that Georgia “will never reconcile with disintegration of its territorial integrity” and added that “any step, which is directed against Georgia’s territorial integrity, deserves our serious concerns and criticism.”
Also on March 12 Ankvab met in Moscow with head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill.