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What do Georgian refugees regret?2011-03-02 21:25
Georgians are sadly watching Abkhazia paying compensations on Soviet deposits in Sberbank. The Georgians who supported official Tbilisi during the civil war and had to leave the republic afterwards will hardly see this money, just like the other citizens of the "most democratic" state in the world. Tbilisi is not going to repay domestic obligations, increasing its external debt by billions.
Georgia seem to be worried by the news that Sukhum is planning to pay Soviet investors 10 million rubles. In 1998, Abkhazia recognized the debt to Sberbank USSR that developed before 14 August 1992 when it was not yet an independent state but the republic's budget, being blocked by Georgia and other CIS countries, was unable to pay over 200 million rubles to the citizens.
By 2006, Compensation Payments Foundation paid 7 million rubles to the people of Abkhazia, which was about one million per year. As was underlined by Vice Prime Minister Leonid Lakerbaya, these were budget means but not a gift to Russia as a successor of the USSR. Investors were given 10-15 thousand rubles each.
The first ones to get the compensation were, of course, old-aged pensioners born in 1910s and the veterans of the Great Patriotic War, as well as the participants of the 1992-93 civil war. This year, it's the turn of those born in 1920s and those veterans who haven't been paid yet, as well as the heirs of the citizens belonging to the mentioned categories.
News analysts in the Georgian media suppose that 200 million of debt, if calculated according to Sberbank's data, should include the deposits of those Georgians who left Abkhazia after the 1992-93 war. If so, their compensation is to be received by Sukhum through a transfer from Moscow but in the absence of the "owners" it will be shared between the Russian and Sukhum officials.
These sighs about the appropriated compensations are absolutely irrelevant. Firstly, in all the former USSR republics who managed to repay the debt to Sberbank, deposits were compensated solely to the citizens of the new independent states. The Abkhaz law on compensations also states residential qualification in the form of registration in the territory of the republic since 30 September 1993. Are runaway Georgians citizens and residents of today's Abkhazia? No, of course, not. Secondly, Sberbank issues money formally; in reality, it is paid out of the republic's budget, or, just like in case with Abkhazia, out of the Compensation Payments Foundation. Finally, there is a system of applications in place, so the absent depositors simply save the state's means.