Medvedev congratulates Ankvab on victory in pres elections

MOSCOW, August 27 (Itar-Tass) — Russian President Dmitry Medvedev congratulated Alexander Ankvab on his victory in the August 26 presidential elections in Abkhazia.

In his greetings message on Saturday, Medvedev said, “Your compatriots’ confidence proves the Abkhazian people’s firm support for building an independent and democratic state and making the people’s life peaceful and prosperous.”

“I’m sure that under your leadership Abkhazia will continue its way to developing government institutions and the civil society, ensuring the stable social and economic development, and strengthening positions on the world arena. In these fields the Republic of Abkhazia can hope for the Russian Federation’s multifaceted support,” the Russian president said.

“Interstate relations based on the traditions of friendship and brotherhood have a big potential. We are ready to further consistent work to intensify partnership,” Medvedev said.

Russia welcomed successful presidential elections in the Republic of Abkhazia, a diplomatic source in the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

“Russia welcomes successful presidential elections in Abkhazia as an important stage on the path of developing the statehood and the civil society in this friendly neighbouring country,” the Russian diplomatic source said.

Numerous international observers, who were monitoring the elections in the republic, “gave a high mark to the election process in view of the elections meeting democratic standards, stated no serious violations, which could have hampered the free suffrage,” the source said.

“We intend to continue a large-scale work to build up comprehensively Russian-Abkhazian relations for the interests of our peoples,” the source in the Russian Foreign Ministry pledged.

Abkhazia intends to develop and broaden bilateral relations with Russia, Abkhazian President-Elect Alexander Ankvab told a press conference.

Ankvab stated that the Republic of Abkhazia intends to keep working under the Abkhazian-Russian Treaty of Amity, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, which Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and the then Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh signed in 2008.

Russia is a strategic ally of Abkhazia, Ankvab went on to say. “We value bilateral relations and will show to the world that Russia has made a very correct choice, recognizing the Republic of Abkhazia,” Ankvab pointed out.

He also thanked Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who congratulated the latter on a convincing victory at the presidential elections. “I believe that we will meet in the near future,” Ankvab said.

The early presidential elections were held in Abkhazia on August 26. According to the preliminary election results, Ankvab was elected as president of the Republic of Abkhazia in the first round. He gained 54.86% of votes. His main rival Sergei Shamba polled 21.04% of votes, Raul Khadzhimba got 19.83%. The turnout has made 71.92%.

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