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Russian-Abkhazian treaty becomes available

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, October 15
The text of the memorandum draft that will be signed between the de-facto region of Abkhazia and Russia is now available. The Apsnipress released the draft on October 13, which involves different directions of cooperation between the occupied region and the occupant country.

According to Russia’s Vedomosti publication, Moscow thinks most of the points of the proposed draft will not cause a negative reaction from Sokhumi, as it meets the interests of both “countries” and does not threaten Abkhazia’s sovereignty.

According to the draft, the creation of common security and defense space envisages the establishment of “common defense infrastructure; and the set up of a combined group of forces aiming at protecting the borders.

The draft suggests mutual military assistance in the case of attack.

Moscow and Sokhumi have to create the Combined Group of Forces of the Russian and Abkhaz armed forces within a year after the draft adoption.

The draft agreement also emphasizes the gradual unification of standards of command and control systems, and logistics, between the two armies. Russia will finance the measures.

Those Abkhazians who will have Russian passports will be able to join the Russian armed forces on contract bases.

According to the draft, Moscow offers to provide Sokhumi with complete freedom of movement across the Russian-Abkhaz state border. However, in some situations, restrictions might be imposed.

Russia promises to Abkhazia that it will assist Sukhumi in protecting the state border with Georgia.

The Russian-proposed draft also offers joint control on the movement of people, transport and cargo at entry points in Abkhazia, including ports.

The draft also envisages the harmonization of Abkazia’s legislation with the Eurasian Union

According to the draft, within 18 months after the entry into force of the agreement, Sokhumi will have to put its customs legislation in line with Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union regulations. The occupied region will also have to amend its budgetary and tax regulations to meet Eurasian Union standards.

When it comes to social aspects, Russia has committed to co-finance the gradual increase of salaries of employees of the state-funded entities in Abkhazia, including in healthcare, education, social service, and the culture sectors.

In the foreign policy field, Russia claims to support the de-facto region in gaining international recognition and becoming a member of international organizations. Besides Russia, Abkhazia is now recognized only by Nicaragua, Venezuela and Nauru.

Newly elected head of the region Raul Khajimba asked the de-facto parliament of Abkhazia to discuss the draft and prepare remarks on it.