President of Russia Dmitry MEDVEDEV: This visit to you today is really a special occasion. This is the first visit by the Russian President to Abkhazia since it gained its independence, and this is a significant event in a sense. This is all the more true when we remember that today is August 8, and that just two years ago the tragic events that we know took place in South Ossetia, which triggered a number of political processes that led to Russia’s recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent countries and subjects of international law.
Two years have passed since then. Russia did not come easily to the decision that it took after the military part of the conflict ended. This was a difficult decision, but time has shown that it was the right decision. The very existence of the Abkhazian and South Ossetian peoples was under threat at that moment, and if we had not made the decisions we did the situation would have been completely different. The situation has calmed down now, and I see this too in my contacts with international partners. Of course, they differ in their views on these events, some share one view and others think differently, but whatever the case, there are objective facts that were set out by Russia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and that were later confirmed by the well known Tagliavini Report and other documents.
I therefore think that the truth is on our side. We will build good relations with Abkhazia and develop our economic relations as we decided, and as is reflected in our bilateral international agreements. We will develop our security cooperation in accordance with the special agreement that binds our countries, and there can be no alternative to this course.
I think that now it is very important to continue our cooperation in developing Abkhazia’s economy and social sphere. You have everything you need to become a flourishing and prosperous country. Your excellent climate is renowned, and this attracts many people from our country and other countries to your shores. There are also other projects that we could carry out together, and I hope to discuss all of these things today. And we will get a chance to see how Sukhum and other parts of Abkhazia look today.