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Sukhum and Tskhinval make plans for the future2009-03-18 12:30
In 2009 Russia will donate over 5 billion rubles to Abkhazia and South Ossetia. On March 17 necessary interagency agreements between the countries were signed.
Information on financial aid to South Caucasian republics was recently reported in the press release of the Finance Ministry of Russia. Abkhazia will receive 2.36 bln and South Ossetia - 2.8 bln. According to the document the funds will be appropriated for social purposes: salaries for budget employees, child benefits, pensions, educational allowances, food and medications. Though Russian budget expenditures decreased because of the world economic crisis the amount of aid to Abkhazia and South Ossetia will be left unchanged.
Besides Tskhinval will receive extra 7 bln rubles for reconstruction of residential buildings, social facilities and restoration of housing and utilities that were badly affected by the August war. It will be remembered the republic already received 1.5 bln rubles last year.
Execution of current agreements between the republics and Russia's Ministry of Finance means that the provision of financial aid to Tskhinval and Sukhum is on an interstate level. Accordingly the process of recovery will be carried out efficiently with the deadlines likely to be shortened.
It should be remarked that regardless of today's financial donations from Russia South Ossetia plans to develop independently in the future considering Russia its major economic partner.
"Now we are to restore what was destroyed not for 5 days of war but for 20 years of blockade, genocide and hostilities", - President of South Ossetia Edward Kookoyty emphasized in his interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta. - It is true that without Russia's participation we will not be able to complete reconstruction but the republic won't be eternally dependent on Russia. We have great agricultural prospects, wine making business, and later - ecology tourism and downhill skiing".
Well, the young republic's urge for self-development sounds pleasing. Kokoyty is aware of his country's strong and weak points, its resources and opportunities better than anyone else. Most importantly he can provide for objective evaluation. If his words can be trusted in the future South Ossetia can not only be "autonomous" in terms of self-sufficiency but attract investments as well. In tourism for instance. All the more the collapse of the USSR led to both qualitative and quantitative loss of recreational sphere in the Caucasus.
It is of utmost importance to restore internal economy for Sukhum too.