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A new economic partner for Abkhazia2009-03-25 12:05
March 23, Sochi: President of Abkhazia Sergey Bagapsh met with Alexander Lukashenko, the president of Belarus, to discuss economic partnership.
"Together with the president of Russia we discussed the problems existing here, in this region that concern Belarus; - Lukashenko is quoted by the press service of the Abkhazian government. - There are many talking points, primarily business. For a state that recently acquired independence there always are more things to be done. We will be happy if with the assistance of Belarus the problems of this region will be solved".
Sergey Bagapsh expressed readiness for "close economic cooperation" with Belarus. According to the Abkhazian president this year Sukhum is intended to buy a large lot of MAZ vehicles. "We are ready to set aside 1 billion Russian rubles to buy them. Today we can afford it. We will work with Belarus. It is convenient for us and this is good quality equipment", - the Abkhazian leader summed up.
In addition to the supply of vehicles Bagapsh and Lukashenko discussed cooperation in tourism and cultural sphere. That means the countries are getting closer to each other. The summit and the discussion of prospects mean that the rapprochement will be continued. Russia acts as an important intermediary here as the money Abkhazia will pay Belarus for the trucks is Russian. Basically this is a trilateral circulation of financial flows.
What can this gesture of the Belarus leader mean for Sukhum? The republic is young; it has few foreign contacts for now. Neither can Abkhazia boast of extensive economic ties - presently only Russia acts both as an ally and a business partner.
Recently president Bagapsh stated that most part of the Russian financial aid to the republic would be used for restoration of road network and construction of routes connecting Abkhazia and Russia. He emphasized: "This is for tourists and holiday-makers that come here from Russia", - he was quoted by Rosbalt. - Russians must have good, safe roads". Besides the reconstruction of formerly popular tourist attractions like Pitsunda Temple, Novo-Afon Complex and Lykhny Monastery is already underway.
Official Tbilisi was extremely dissatisfied with Bagapsh's plans starting to discuss that Russia allegedly wanted to integrate Abkhazia into its North Caucasian region.
Apparently Georgia forgets that Russia was the first one who recognized the republic's independence and that execution of joint treaties is done on the principle of equal rights of political counterparts.