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President discusses draft treaty on alliance and integration proposed by Russian side with MPs

Raul Khadzhimba

Raul Khadzhimba

SUKHUM -- Raul Khadzhimba has had a meeting with deputies of the People’s Assembly –the Parliament of Abkhazia.

The meeting was dedicated to the discussion of the draft treaty on alliance and integration proposed by the Russian side.

The President said that the leadership of Abkhazia was interested in the Parliament and the expert community taking the most active part in discussing the draft treaty and working out proposals of the Abkhazian side.

The vision of the Russian side and President Khadzhimba differ on a number of provisions of the proposed document, and now some ministries and the Presidential Executive Office have been commissioned to work out the Abkhazian side’s version of the treaty.

Following the results of their work and discussions a working group for negotiations with the Russian side including representatives of the executive and legislative branches of power will be created.

The President touched upon a number of specific provisions of the draft treaty. He said that the treaty was not aimed at substituting the basic Friendship and Cooperation Treaty of 2008, but had to be based on it. He also emphasized that provisions of the treaty had to comply with the Constitution of the Republic of Abkhazia.

As far as the idea of creating a Joint group of forces is concerned, the President said we did not plan to include the entire Armed Forces of Abkhazia in it. We can only speak about including independent subdivisions which will have combat trainings within the JGF framework. The President, as the Commander-in-chief, the Ministry of Defense and the General Staff of Abkhazia will command the Armed Forces of Abkhazia.

The Abkhazian side is also going to put forward a proposal of Russian aid in modernizing and equipping the Armed Forces of Abkhazia up to the modern level.

As to the coordination and interaction between law-enforcement agencies of Abkhazia and Russia, the President said that law-enforcement in the territory of Abkhazia was within the competence of our law enforcement bodies. The coordination center will have the following functions : data exchange and data storage, organizational and methodical assistance in increasing efficiency of law enforcement agencies, assistance in implementing coordinated measures for combatting capital offences both in the territory of Abkhazia, and in the territory of Russia. It is a normal practice adopted in many states.

As to the interaction between frontier bodies the President said that nobody was going to abolish the frontier between Russia and Abkhazia. We speak about a stage-by-stage simplification of border crossing regime at the check point on the Psou river. This process has to parallel the strengthening of protection of the Georgian-Abkhazian border. The Abkhazian side is going to raise the question of equipping the border with Georgia with modern engineering facilities.

The functions of the customs authorities of the Republic of Abkhazia will be fully preserved. Creation of a specialized Russian customs body in the territory of Abkhazia was already provided by the 2010 agreement. It aims at simplifying customs clearance of goods going to Russia. In accordance with this agreement the Abkhazian side has the same right.

Thus, when forming its position the leadership of Abkhazia will start out from the principle of equality and the sovereignty of participants in the agreement.

Touching upon the issue of rather short deadlines for preparing the treaty the President said that they were dictated by the quickly changing geopolitical situation. ‘We have to be ready to different ways of development which will call for our joint efforts with the strategic ally’, the President said.

According to the President, ‘creation of allied integration models with participation of different states is a very important question for Russia’. ‘Its role as a leading world power depends on it. We are fundamentally interested in the development of this process, and must support it. The allied relationship which was created after Russian has recognized Abkhazia and appropriate agreements have been signed, impose some political obligations on us. We have to be consistent in this matter’, Khadzhimba said.

That’s why the President called upon MPs and all participants in discussions to have a thorough and well-reasoned approach to this work to eliminate all the question alarming the society in the atmosphere of mutual trust and mutual understanding.

In turn, MPs expressed support to a new open approach of the country leaders in the matter so important for the society. They made critical comments on a number of provisions of the draft treaty, at the same time, coincidence of positions of MPs and the President was mentioned.

MPs supported the idea of preparing the Abkhazian side’s version of the treaty.

The Parliament has already started the work on its proposals which will be submitted to the President what will make it possible to formulate a consolidated position of the President and the Parliament.

The President thanked MPs for fruitful work and said he would continue consultations with different political forces and experts, a spokesperson for the President said.

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