Abkhaz ‘Economy Minister’ Talks Sokhumi Airport Restoration in Moscow
Kristina Ozgan, economy minister of occupied Abkhazia, held a meeting in Moscow with Russian Federal Agency for Air Transport Head Alexander Neradko, where they discussed the planned reconstruction of the Sokhumi airport, closed since the early 1990s.
As Abkhaz media reported on February 15, the two developed a roadmap and agreed on both sides’ responsibilities in resuming the airport’s operation.
“An Abkhaz-Russian working group has already been formed, priorities have been identified. We have announced about the recruitment of specialists to enroll [aviation studies] at the Russian universities,” Ozgan remarked.
The Abkhaz side claims it will prepare construction submittals during the year, which will “make clear” the entire cost and the timeframe of the project’s completion. The source of the funds for reconstruction will be determined later.
Kremlin-backed Abkhaz leader Aslan Bzhania and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed in Sochi last year to restore the functioning of the Sokhumi airport, closed since the armed conflict of 1993 in Abkhazia.
Bzhania remarked then that the Russian leader shared the Abkhaz authorities’ approach and “gave relevant instructions.” Following the Sochi meeting, First Deputy Head of the Federal Air Transport Agency Oleg Storchevoy arrived in Abkhazia for the first round of negotiations.
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