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Moscow - Sukhum: the dispute for money20.12.2011 | 17:14
Recently, the Russian side declared that Abkhazia is poorly developing financial aid, allocated for it. The answer from Sukhum was immediate. "The report of the Accounting Chamber of the RF is biased", said in a special message by the government. It's unusual situation for Russia and Abkhazia. The statements of both countries are full of nuances, only experts can understand them. To clarify the situation, GeorgiaTimes' correspondent talked to the experts in economics and Russian-Abkhazian relations.
In a document, circulated by the media, the Accounting Chamber of the Russian Federation made conclusions about the results of check of the effectiveness of Russia's financial assistance. Here is its statement: "Test results indicate a low level of quality financial management, lack of use of more efficient methods of management of budget funds and inadequate control by the public authorities of the Republic of Abkhazia".
Let's translate the text into plain language. The point is that the existing financial system in Abkhazia does not meet the requirements: it is not sufficiently transparent and efficient.
The amount of violations exceeded 143 million rubles. For the Accounting Chamber it is probably a penny. In Moscow, where the auditors are continuing to dig under the former City Hall composition, we are talking about billions of rubles, possibly stolen. But in Abkhazia the scale is smaller.
The list of violations, identified in the country, is extensive. The Abkhaz side did not have time to master all the money sent from Russia. In fact 63% of funds are already spent. Only 5 of the 90 scheduled events, according to the Accounting Chamber, are fully complied. 58 events are in progress, and 27 events are not even started. There were identified cases of overvaluation of the estimates for repair and rehabilitation work, etc.
But most important is that the Russian auditors categorically do not like the legal basis, according to which the money of the Russian Federation is spent, and the methods by which the Abkhaz financial system operates with the money in Moscow are considered obsolete.
"Actually, the norms of the legislation are the main cause of conflict between the Russian and Abkhaz sides. The standards that operate in Abkhazia are different, sometimes obsolete. But on the other hand, it is quite different scale. And if the Russian the competence on a particular issue is divided between the ten ministries, in Abkhazia, only one ministry deals with everything. In Abkhazia, the administrative system is very simple", Abkhaz economist Beslan Barateliya said in an interview to GeorgiaTimes.
Sukhum responded the Accounting Chamber in a fairly rigid form. A report, published by the Abkhazian government, includes too many expressions hard for the perception. We will try to explain the essence. Abkhaz authorities remind that the country has a different legal basis, and all contracts and report on it must comply with national legislation.
In fact, the whole point of the matter is that in Abkhazia there is no analogue of Accounting Chamber - the structure, operating in Russia. In Moscow, this situation is considered a big omission and they argue that this is why the money is spent inefficiently.
Sukhum has its own logic. Abkhazia is very small country and there is no need to create a cumbersome system of financial control. Existing institutions - the Ministry of Finance and Prosecutor's Office - are enough to ensure the legality and transparency in the spending of Russian money.
According to Sukhum, the Russians are extremely biased. The government of Abkhazia is wondering why the materials on the activities of the Abkhaz Prosecutor General's Office, which investigated and published data on abuses in spending the Russian money, have not got into the report of the Accounting Chamber. The prosecutors have found the fact of overvaluation of the estimates of rehabilitation of water systems in Gagra for 54 million rubles and arrested the director of a private firm, which, according to investigators, had "stolen" 12 million rubles during the overhaul of the Abkhazian State University.
Sukhumi has another complaint towards the Chamber of Accounts. The republican government comments one curious argument of the auditors that Abkhazia physically had no time to spend money sent from Russia. It turns out that it happens because of many months of delay of trenches by the Russian side.
The "Abkhaz" report of the Accounting Chamber appeared at a time when Moscow's relations with the old elites of Transnistria, South Ossetia and Abkhazian colleagues turned out to be hopelessly flawed. Good alliance has worsened due to the financial issue. In case of Transnistria we are talking about 160 million rubles, where a son of now, probably, the former president Igor Smirnov was accused of its stealing. In case of South Ossetia the amount was not sounded, but there are many complaints too.