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Putin in Sukhum: summit-level dialogue2009-08-13 10:14
Chairman of Russian Government Vladimir Putin went on a day trip to Abkhazia to meet the republic's leadership. This is the first visit of the summit-level delegation from Russia to the republic after recognition of its independence in August 2008.
"I would like to confirm that all plans we outlined during our latest meeting in Sochi won't undergo significant changes in spite of the difficulties, - Russian PM is quoted by RIA Novosti. -In the coming year we will specifically focus on security issues and socioeconomic development of Abkhazia. We have set aside the funds that were coordinated for a three-year period". According to Vladimir Putin the most important direction of Moscow-Sukhum interaction will be chosen at today's intergovernmental talks. "Over the recent years Russia has done a lot to support Abkhazia, to help it become an independent state, but no yield will come of the grain planted on a poor soil", - the Russian Prime Minister emphasized. - The people of Abkhazia did their best to have
what has happened over the year that has passed". The new republic's president Sergey Bagapsh thanked the Russian side for support noting: "It is very important to us what Russia is doing, and the plans that were outlined will be implemented".
Putin and Bagapsh laid wreaths to the monument to the fallen during the 1992-1993 Georgian-Abkhazian conflict located in the territory of Glory Memorial in the center of Sukhum. Russian PM and Abkhaz President also spoke to widows and mothers of the perished defenders of Abkhazia. A woman thanked Vladimir Putin for his visit saying: "Thank you very much for freedom". Then Putin went to a maternity hospital in Sukhum that was thoroughly rebuilt and equipped with state-of-the art devices through Russia's assistance.
Putin is expected to discuss a RUR 1-1.5 bn loan for the young republic. As is known, this topic was first brought up by Putin and Bagapsh in May, at the meeting in Sochi. Then the Abkhaz president remarked this money was needed for the banking industry: capitalization of the national bank, development of small and medium business and railway system. "I think Vladimir Vladimirovich favors all these proposals, and in the near future they will all be implemented", - Sergey Bagapsh said then. The president also emphasized the loan in question was reimbursable and was not part of the Russian gratuitous aid to Abkhazia program.