Russia is ready to provide assistance to the former Georgian republic of Abkhazia in solving social as well as security issues, Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Abkhaz counterpart on Friday.
“Russia is ready to give its shoulder and support and this first of all goes for the social sphere, let alone the issues of security. But we will talk about that [security] later,” Putin said opening a meeting with President Alexander Ankvab in Russia’s resort city of Sochi.
Earlier in the day, the presidents visited the Velyoloye-Adler checkpoint at the Russian-Abkhaz border which recently opened after reconstruction.
“Many things were done in recent years in the establishment of Abkhazia as of a sovereign state, but much still has to be done. I know there are many problems. Today we witnessed progress in the solution of one of them,” the Russian president said.
The Abkhaz president thanked Putin, saying “We feel Russia’s and your personal support and have no doubts that things will be better than they used to be.”
Ankvab’s visit to Sochi comes the day after Russian and Abkhaz security services claimed to have uncovered a terror plot targeting the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games.
Russia recognized the two breakaway Georgian republics as independent states following a five-day war with Georgia over South Ossetia in August 2008. Nicaragua, Venezuela and the tiny island nations of Nauru and Tuvalu are the only countries to have followed suit, recognizing the two republics, while another Pacific nation, Vanuatu, has recognized only Abkhazia.
Putin, who was sworn in as president on May 7, will also hold a meeting on Saturday in Sochi with South Ossetian President Leonid Tibilov.