Abkhaz Leader Meets Russia’s Lavrov, Novak in Moscow

Kremlin-backed Abkhaz leader Aslan Bzhania today met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak in Moscow.

Speaking with Moscow’s top diplomat, Bzhania pledged the occupied region’s support to the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

“Most of our people support this necessary measure,” he said, stressing residents of Abkhazia understand the importance of the so-called “special operation.”

The Abkhaz leader recalled that Sokhumi has recognized Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Luhansk and Donetsk as independent, and sent humanitarian supplies to its inhabitants. Besides, Abkhazia shelters 150 evacuees from the regions, Bzhania added.

“We are ready to help through the defense ministry and special services,” Bzhania stressed, without elaborating further.

Meanwhile, the top Russian diplomat told Bzhania that Moscow and Sokhumi must remain aligned amid “relentless striving” by the West to “maintain its dominance in international affairs, to dominate everything and everyone, to bring back the unipolar world.”

“These aspirations cause the most serious tension in international relations,” Russia’s Lavrov claimed, adding that Moscow is “resisting this” together with its allies.

Besides, the Russian FM said Moscow is pleased with “political and military dialogue, military-technical and defense cooperation, collaboration in trade, economic and investment spheres, and humanitarian and cultural links” with Sokhumi.

Also on March 25, Bzhania’s press service reported that his meeting with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak focused on the implementation of the roadmap on optimizing occupied Akhazia’s energy supply, the development of a general gasification scheme, and the pricing of petroleum products.

The Abkhaz leader departed from Sokhumi for a trip to Moscow on March 23.

Bzhania last visited the Russian capital in October 2021, meeting Defense and Finance Ministers, Sergey Shoygu and Anton Siluanov, respectively, as well as Deputy PM Novak. Energy and security issues loomed large in the meetings.

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