President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Bzhania, I am glad to see you.
I think that we last saw each other at the Victory Parade in Moscow. Now we have the opportunity to discuss calmly and without haste, how the relations between our countries are developing. Unfortunately, the economy has been affected by the pandemic. Nevertheless, Russia undoubtedly remains Abkhazia’s number one partner and accounts for 70 percent of its trade. Apart from tourism, there are major avenues for cooperation including agriculture and telecommunications. We will discuss all these matters today.
I hope that the Russian doctors have made a meaningful contribution to fighting the pandemic in your republic. I know that our specialists are working in the Gudauta hospital’s red zone. The Defence Ministry is deploying its field hospital there, so military doctors are also present.
We will take our time today to discuss these and other matters of mutual interest, as we say, starting here and continuing during a working breakfast.
President of the Republic of Abkhazia Aslan Bzhania: Thank you.
I am grateful to you for this meeting. This is the first time that we are meeting in this format.
I would like to use this opportunity to thank the Russian people and you personally on behalf of the multinational people of Abkhazia for the assistance and support you have provided to us over the course of many years. We are grateful to you for this. As the saying goes, a friend in need is a friend indeed, and we have received your support once again during the coronavirus pandemic.
I would like to express gratitude to the Defence Ministry for the hospital they have set up in Abkhazia. Russian medics are providing invaluable assistance: Russian doctors have been working in shifts at the Gudauta hospital during the past few months. This is truly invaluable assistance in the current circumstances. Rospotrebnadzor is helping us as well. We are grateful to you for all this assistance.
The Abkhazian leadership intends to implement the agreements set out in the large treaty and other interdepartmental agreements, because this is fully in keeping with Abkhazia’s interests and is contributing to the strengthening of Abkhazia’s statehood and sovereignty.
I would like you to know that you will always be a welcome guest in Abkhazia, and I invite you to visit us.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you.