Sukhum, The OSCE
High Commissioner on National Minorities Knut Vollebaek and the acting
president of Abkhazia Alexander Ankvab have discussed the current
situation in the republic.
“I periodically come to
Sukhum to keep in touch, your assessment of the situation in the
republic is important for me, and I'll be happy to hear from you the
analysis of the current political situation, the Geneva negotiation
process, relations with Georgia, the situation in the Gal district”,
Vollebaek told Ankvab.
In turn Alexander Ankvab
mentioned that meetings with Knut Vollebaek had always been of a
The acting president
characterized the political situation in Abkhazia as stable.
“Everything we do is
aimed at ranking worthily with the world community. We have a stable
political system, all branches of power work all right. We have already
done much for overcoming the economic difficulties we have”, Ankvab said.
“The country's budget has grown considerably. Social support to many
layers of the population is growing, small and average businesses are
developing, the number of investors is increasing”.
Alexander Ankvab pointed
to the country's MFA efforts in establishing contacts with the outside
world. “A number of interesting trips to other countries have been
accomplished, and we are certain that the world is learning more and
more about Abkhazia. We are interested in it”, Ankvab added.
As he said, Abkhazia is
not afraid of the fact that the process of recognition is going slowly.
“We are not in a hurry, and we do not urge on this process, at that we
are interested in normal, mutually beneficial relations with the outside
world and the normal development in the country”.
emphasized that there are no interethnic problems in Abkhazia . As to
the Gal district, which international organizations are paying close
attention to, Ankvab said, the situation had considerably changed there
in comparison with that of 5 years' prescription.
“Today we have the
possibility of giving much more attention to this district's inhabitants
and economy. We are implementing concrete projects, related to education,
health care, infrastructure much more actively there and intend to
increase our efforts”, he said.
Dwelling upon the crime
situation in the district adjacent to Georgia, the acting president
admitted certain difficulties as they are related to the activity of the
Georgian special services.
“Unfortunately, raids of
subversive groups of the Georgian special services still take place in
the Gal district. Murders of civilians, kidnappings, armed conflicts
with our law enforcement bodies create tension among civilians”, Ankvab
Thereupon, as he said, the authorities are studying measures on increase
in number of law-enforcers in the Gal district, increase in salaries of
law-enforcement bodies , the State Security Service and the Border Guard
Ankvab told Knut
Vollebaek that Russian border guards deployed in the territory of
Abkhazia are providing themselves with the necessary facilities on the
border now. “Efficiency of their work increases every day. When the
process of fortifying the border and building frontier posts comes to
the end, we are certain, the situation on the border will considerably
improve”, Ankvab emphasized.
Improvement of the crime
situation, Ankvab is certain, will positively affect the economic
development of the Gal district having a considerable potential, and the
process of integration of Gal district inhabitants into the inner life
of the country.
Alexander Ankvab told the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities
about the process of issuing passports in the Gal district. “As of May
1, 2011, 9000 people in the Gal district have received passports of the
citizen of the Republic of Abkhazia. This process is going absolutely
easily, without any compulsion. This is a will of the citizens who want
to live in the Abkhaz society”, Ankvab emphasized.
Among the difficulties
occurring in the process of education at Gal district schools Ankvab
named shortage of Abkhaz and Russian teachers. Some district schools are
in need of repair.
“The Gal district today
has problems with teaching the Russian and Abkhaz languages, and no
problems with teaching Georgian”, Alexander Ankvab declared. “ We do not
forbid anybody to teach the Georgian language in Gal schools. At the
same time, in recent years we have seen parents' aspiration to send
their children to study at our educational institutions therefore we
will pay much attention to teaching the Russian and Abkhaz languages in
Every year Abkhazia is
granted from 70 to 100 quotas at Russian higher education establishments.
“We want Gal children to have the possibility of getting qualitative,
modern higher education and they should speak Russian for this purpose”,
The state takes measures
in the field of health care. In the near future the district will
receive a considerable aid for purchasing equipment for the district
For maintaining village
inhabitants' regular liaisons with the district center 15 new buses have
been transferred to the Gal motor transport enterprise.
Then the meeting was held
behind the closed doors.
After it Knut Vollebaek
told journalists that he had had a very interesting and productive
meeting with Alexander Ankvab.
“My mandate includes
giving as much as possible time to national minorities and establishing
relations with them in different regions of the world. We have the
neutral status, and we have the possibility of being in the regions
where our mandate extends to”, the OSCE High Commissioner on National
Knut Vollebaek emphasized
that he welcomes decisions and obligations of the Abkhaz authorities to
give local national minorities the opportunity of getting education in a
native language and expressed readiness to render assistance in this
As to the issuing of
passports to the population of Gal district, in his opinion, any person
must be free in taking this or that citizenship, everyone must have the
right of choice.
“During my last visit I
visited Armenian and Georgian schools. Armenian schools have no problems,
but Georgian ones have problems with textbooks and native language
teachers”, Knut Vollebaek said.
Official site of the president of the republic of Abkhazia