6 Aug 2019 10:52

Abkhaz President Khajimba calls relations with Russia very good

SUKHUM. Aug 6 (Interfax) - Relations between Abkhazia and Russia are very good, the republic's President Raul Khajimba told Abkhaz television ahead of a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi.

"There were good relations with Russia and President of the country, which is our friend, Vladimir Putin even before I became president, under the former leaders of the republic. Today's relations are very good. I have held several meetings with the president of the Russian state over the past few years. At them, we discussed issues concerning bilateral relations and the development of Abkhazia," Khajimba said.

Putin "is perfectly aware of the situation in Abkhazia and the history of relations with Georgia," Khajimba said, adding that the Russian president "is also favorably disposed towards the people of Abkhazia."

Khajimba also said that at their meeting in Sochi on August 6, he and Putin would discuss the socioeconomic development of Abkhazia and also steps to rebuild the Sukhum airport and put it back into operation.

Khajimba disagreed with opposition representatives' claims on social networks that the need to restore the operation of the Sukhum airport is being brought to the fore only before presidential elections.

"It is not true. No one has said that we will launch the airport in 20 days' time. But I think that we should continue working on the issues related to the airport that were tackled by my predecessors Sergei Bagapsh and Alexander Ankvab. Now we are preparing the documents needed to launch the airport. There is an investor. Why do we need to scare him off?" he said.

Khajimba is seeking a second term in office at an election due to take place in Abkhazia on August 25. The republic's Central Elections Commission has registered ten candidates for Abkhaz president.