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Monday, March 19, 2018

Raul Khajimba: the Sovereignty of Abkhazia is not subject to doubt

Raul Khajimba responded to the accusations of Alexander Ankvab

June 2, 2014, 21:01

Text: Mikhail Moshkin


“If he has evidence linking politicians with the crime, why on earth is he all these years, being President of Abkhazia has sent these data to the Prosecutor’s office” – as one of the leaders of the victorious Abkhazian opposition Raul Khajimba in an interview with the newspaper VIEW estimated charges of the former President of Abkhazia Alexander Ankvab.

Russia paid tribute to Alexander Ankvab, now former President of Abkhazia, on the eve of the resigned in the result of the confrontation between the government and the opposition. On Monday, the Russian foreign Ministry said: “the Undoubted merit of Ankvab and other members of the state leadership of the Republic was the preservation of civil peace, prevention of events in a violent scenario that would have, undoubtedly, the most tragic consequences”.

“We want all conflicts had been resolved without any violence, through dialogue, development agreements between the authorities and the opposition – said, in turn, Minister of foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov. – Both those, and others showed a high degree of responsibility and put the interests of their own country above the interests of individual politicians, showed real statesmanship”.

The acute phase of the political crisis in Abkhazia, in contrast to the crisis in Ukraine proved to be short – lived- since the beginning of the demonstrations until the resignation of Ankvab held less than a week. And, as stated the assistant to the Russian President for relations with Abkhazia and South Ossetia Vladislav Surkov (the day before had been in Sukhum with the mission of reconciliation), the standoff was resolved peacefully. “Thanks to the wisdom and responsibility of all participants in the negotiation process and generous decision of Alexander Ankvab saved stability. All government agencies and businesses function”, said Surkov.

We recall the final events of “interregnum”. On may 29 the Parliament of Abkhazia has declared a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Leonid Lakerbaya, and President Alexander Ankvab has offered to voluntarily resign. The Parliament may 31, voted to hold early presidential elections on August 24, and laid the duties of the President on its speaker Valery Bganba.

On Sunday, Alexander Ankvab in address to the nation said that resigns from his post. He explained that this decision was taken after numerous consultations with representatives of the public, voters and colleagues. Monday about the resignation and said the Prime Minister Lakerbaia.

Thus, the authorities in the country, in anticipation of early elections, is the speaker of Parliament. You can draw Parallels with Ukraine, but they are more apparent. Departed voluntarily resigned, and not overthrown, the President is in the country, and did not run. And, as stated by acting President Bganba, “Ankvab is a citizen of Abkhazia aged 18 years and can participate (in presidential elections), and no one can deny it”.

However, we must recognize that the relationship between the former government and opposition leaders, which is likely to come to power, far from perfect. According to “Kommersant”, in a farewell address to the nation as President Ankvab accused opponents of having links with crime and warned of the consequences of regime change can be “disastrous” for the country.

About the relationship between the former leader and the victorious opposition, the prospects of the elections and the near future of the Republic, VZGLYAD talked with one of the leaders of the protest movement, Raul khadjimba, who in 2003-2004 was led by the government of Abkhazia, in 2005-2009 he was the Vice-President of the Republic, and now heads the party “Forum of national unity of Abkhazia”.

OPINION: Raul Khajimba, it was reported that you will not stand as a candidate in the presidential elections of the Republic of Abkhazia. If so, what prompted this decision?

Raul Khajimba: actually I said nothing of the sort. I talked about the fact that there are consultations, the work that will lead to results – which, in turn, will allow you to report me or I will not participate in this election race.

OPINION: Thus, we can say that under certain conditions you will take part in the elections?

R. H.: Yes.

OPINION: Alexander Ankvab, declaring on the eve of his resignation in address to the nation has accused his opponents of having links with crime. What can you say about this statement?

R. H.: You know, all my life I worked as an officer special services, my whole career has been connected with work in relevant structures of power. Don’t know if it’s called “crime”… I personally do not see anything criminal.

Ankvab could at least follow the logic – saying “a” you need to talk and “b”. If he has evidence linking politicians with the crime, why on earth is he all these years, being President of Abkhazia has sent these data to the Prosecutor – at least regarding my person.

OPINION: Ankvab made another loud statement, he said that “one of the objectives of the coup” was the release of those who pass on the case of assassination attempts.

R. H.: This is another absurdity, born in the head of the now former President. No desire neither I nor my colleagues were not. The court and only the court will make decisions that should be based on the law: if the person is guilty he will be punished. If he has nothing to do with what he is accused, then the court would acquit him. I cannot interfere in such matters and would not advise anyone to do that.

LOOK: FROM your point of view, the mission of Vladislav Surkov and Rashid Nurgaliyev has helped to resolve the political crisis in Abkhazia?

R. H.: In the initial period, which was marked by sharp confrontation, the emergence of the Russian representatives made it possible to reduce passions. It is further allowed to come to the results that we have.

OPINION: What, in your opinion, should be the policy of the new authorities of Abkhazia? How it will differ from the Board Ankvab?

R. H.: I think that concerning foreign policy, much difference will not. We are talking about the need to build relations with Russia and other countries willing to recognize us and cooperate with us.

As for our domestic subjects, then this issue is much more serious: to achieve transparency in economic and financial processes. It is necessary to solve the problems caused by the crime situation. To solve the issues of passports. All of this requires the early participation of the authorities and the openness of the government. People should know what we intend to do, how are we going to get out of a difficult situation.

LOOK: You mentioned one of the reasons that caused mass demonstrations – the distribution of Abkhaz passports to ethnic Georgians residing in Tarchalska and Gali districts. Whether to tighten policy of the authorities in this direction?

R. H.: the Tightening should not be. The relevant structures just need to clarify this situation and to rectify it. The fact is that according to our law on citizenship we have no right to have the citizenship of other countries – except the Russian.

As for the Georgian legislation, and the Institute of dual citizenship is not provided. We did it: persons of Georgian nationality living on the territory of Abkhazia, but having Georgian citizenship automatically (more precisely, on the basis of electoral considerations) received passports of the Republic of Abkhazia.

OPINION: In your opinion, has grown in recent times in the Abkhazian society request for integration with Russia? Is there the possibility of accession of Abkhazia to Russia?

R. H.: as for joining so the question can not be. The Republic of Abkhazia is a sovereign state and Russia recognized it.

We are talking about creating conditions for more intensive integration into existing enterprises – in particular, those created with the participation of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus. It is also about cooperation with Russia concerning defence issues, we insist on greater cooperation with Russia in the economy. All these issues need a more serious interaction.

But the sovereignty of Abkhazia is not subject to doubt.

OPINION: What should be the sources of prosperity of Abkhazia?

R. H.: of Course, these sources are is and the agricultural sector, and tourism and balneology. There is a very important area is hydropower. All this can create conditions that will allow to accumulate funds for the budget of Abkhazia in addition to Russian investments.

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