The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia, Inal Ardzinba, during a meeting with students, participants of the "Future of Abkhazia" platform, told about the current political situation around our country, the current situation in the South Caucasus region, and priority issues in relations with the main ally - the Russian Federation.
The head of the Foreign Ministry spoke in detail about the parameters of the Russian financial assistance that comes to Abkhazia:
“Since 2008, more than 110 billion rubles have been received from the Russian Federation within the framework of interstate assistance to the Republic of Abkhazia. Of these, approximately 30 billion rubles is an investment program, the so-called budget investments.
Another 40 billion rubles are salaries. Inter-budgetary relations do not include pension payments - this is another 40 billion. As part of pension support, our country receives about 4 billion a year. Last month, 24,400 people in our country received Russian pensions. This is approximately 300 million rubles a month. Let me remind you that the basic Abkhazian pension is 500 rubles. If a citizen does not receive a Russian pension, he receives another 2,500 rubles as part of the additional payment. In order to bring the Abkhazian pension to the level of the subsistence minimum at the rate of 10,000 rubles annually, our budget will need an additional 1 billion rubles. Billions of rubles are needed to modernize our army. The same needs are in other sectors - health care, education etc. Today we cannot sit back. It is necessary to look for new sources of replenishment of the revenue part of the budget.
Inal Ardzinba said that earlier the opportunity to create a full-fledged Joint Group of Armed Forces of the Republic of Abkhazia and the Russian Federation, to create a military camp in the Ochamchira region was missed:
“We must analyze our capabilities, try to calculate situations a few steps ahead, and not be led by phobias and emotional value judgments that throw us back again and again. Having worked for a long time in the Administration of the President of Russia, I have never heard of aggressive plans for Russian expansion in Abkhazia.”
Answering a question about the situation in Georgia, Ardzinba informed that the volume of trade between Georgia and Russia has grown to $2.5 billion. Russia is the number 1 trading partner for Georgia. Russia's share in Georgia's foreign trade reached 16%. Georgia, of course, lobbies its interests based on economic pragmatism.
Ardzinba dwelled in detail on the active work of the Georgian diaspora in Russia.
“The world economy and world politics are competitive spheres. If you cannot withstand competition, if you are not competitive, then you risk to be left on the sidelines of international processes,” the Minister noted.
He stressed that in the strategic perspective, our relations with Russia should be saturated with quality content. To a large extent, this is what determines our competitiveness today.
“The Republic of Abkhazia is part of the global information space. Its monitoring is carried out in different capitals, including hostile ones. This must be taken into account,” Ardzinba said.