Putin Visits Abkhazia To Pay Last Respects To Bagapsh

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin today made an unannounced visit to the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia to attend the farewell ceremony of its leader Sergei Bagapsh.

During his visit, Putin met with Abkhazia’s acting President Alexander Ankvab and Prime Minister Sergei Shamba.

Putin told them Abkhazia could count on Russia’s support, including the $358 million the Kremlin has allocated for Abkhazia this year.

Bagapsh, who had been leader of Abkhazia since 2005, died at a Moscow clinic on May 29 after undergoing a lung operation. He was 62.

He is to be buried in his family village of Dzhgerda.

Russia recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states after a brief war with Georgia in August 2008.

Putin told Shamba he hoped “all relations between the Georgian and Abkhaz people will be restored.”

compiled from agency reports

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