Abkhazia Seeks Associated Relations With Russia

Abkhazia (self-proclaimed autonomy within Georgia) is preparing documents establishing possible associated relations with the Russian Federation, according to Anri Djergenia, Abkhazian Prime Minister. According to him, this means establishment of closer relations with Russia, the idea which is supported by the majority of the republic's population. This does not mean, however, that Abkhazia is going to join Russia as a federation constituent member, Djergenia emphasized. The Premier thinks that this does not contradict the constitution, since Abkhazia will remain subject of international law, and its constitutionally declared independence will remain intact. Press-secretary of the Abkhazian permanent mission to Moscow Tatyana Gulia said, commenting on this statement, that associated membership stipulates for common legislation, currency, and border/customs service. Other issues would remain under Abkhazian authority, according to Gulia.

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