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Abkhazia close to economic recognition2009-06-05 18:15
The new resort season brought good news from Abkhazia - the Russian side has almost finished repairing the republic's railway network. It was confirmed by Sergey Klimets, Russian Railway Troops Commander on June 4.
"We have restored around 50 km of railway lines and nine bridges, - Abkhaz government press service quotes. - Including the bridge across the Kodor, an important one. We had to work really hard to fix it". It is already known the capital repairs of the rest of the Abkhaz railway system will be financed by RZhD OJSC, the managing company.
As stated by President Sergey Bagapsh a defect act and a special committee statement have been signed between Abkhazia and Russia. "Two billion rubles will be set aside to enable heavyweight cargo traffic along the railway, - the Abkhaz leader remarked. - It will take four months of intensive works. Abkhazia will be in charge of repairing all railway sub-stations and the overhead system".
Of course this is big money. However the new republic hopes to repay the loan with the help of incomes from transportation of cargo for Olympic facilities construction in Sochi. By the way on June 2 the first lot of inert materials - 40 wagons of crushed stone - was exported from Abkhazia. In future the shipments of construction materials must become regular as the republic is Russia's most advantageous partner in preparations for the Olympics.
The fact is the Cabinet of Ministers of Abkhazia lowered the customs duty on inert materials by over a half in order to stimulate exports. The republican authorities however are not planning to turn the country into a supplier of resources. "Abkhaz government shall not allow ecological violations and shall maintain the state ecological service's rigid position over the issue", - Apsnypress IA quotes Prime Minister Alexander Ankvab.
According to Transport weekly Abkhazia has sufficient railway's potential. At the time of the USSR the volume of cargo traffic from the republic reached 12-14 tons per year. Besides there were up to 18 passenger train pairs going from Sukhum. According to the magazine today the cargo turnover between Russia and Abkhazia is equal to zero and the passenger operations are scarce. Current capital repairs of the railway network will help to make the passenger travels between Russia and Abkhazia more intensive which is especially relevant in the period of summer holidays.