President of the Republic of Abkhazia

 

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27.08.2015

Sukhum, 12.00

President Raul Khadzhimba took part in the assembly of the Republican political party “Forum of the National Unity of Abkhazia”.

Below is the text of a speech that the President gave on the abovementioned event.

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President Raul Khadzhimba’s speech on the assembly of the Republican political party “Forum of the National Unity of Abkhazia”.

Dear colleagues!

Abkhazia is in a difficult situation, which is characterised by new challenges and threats. A lot of them we cannot prevent from happening, yet we must be ready for them. Difficult processes in the world politics and economy take place before our eyes. Russia, our ally and strategic partner, often finds itself in the center of these challenges.

Abkhazia is connected to Russia by a thousand threads – economic, political, military, cultural, and human, which is why we cannot remain untouched by the processes that are currently unfolding.

I want to point out that we do not have many financial opportunities. In spite of a long-term and large-scale financial help from Russia, Abkhazia has not built a genuine economic sector. Even our food security is not fully ensured. In this sphere, things are much worse than they were before the War of 1992-1993, when we could rely on the strong peasant economy. This was demonstrated most clearly on the Eastern Front.

In fact, for all these years our country sustained itself with Russian help, which we used most inefficiently, without planning for the future. Unfortunately, this fact already took place. Now, we do not have time to “put ashes on our heads”.

Nowadays, the times are different. Yes, the help from Russia continues to arrive, but it has diminished significantly. Due to the negative effects of the ruble’s devaluation, our fulfillment of all the duties pertaining to the Agreement on alliance and strategic partnership, as well as the realization of the Investment program, does not ensure a significant economic breakthrough. Russia stood and will continue to stand with us. However, we must understand that right now it has a lot of its own economic problems. Besides, Russia faces a difficult struggle in order to preserve its status on the international arena and to remain an independent and powerful political player.

All this happens against the background of tough international sanctions, attempts to isolate Russia, and a decline in the prices on hydrocarbons. Russia has to mobilise all of its resources, hence the reduction in budgetary and other types of spending. It is difficult to predict how the situation will be unfolding. This is why we have to put in place the measures that would help us to endure in these difficult conditions.

I am sure that the situation requires the joining of efforts in our society. Now is not the time for domestic political squabbles. We are all in the same boat and we must steer it towards calm waters.

First of all, we should ensure the security of our state. For this, the complete realisation of the regulations of the Agreement from November 24, 2014, is required. These regulations are concerned with defence and security.

Under the terms of the Agreement, we will be provided with necessary help in the construction and modernisation of our military forces in accordance with today’s standards, as well as in the increasing of logistical support of the law enforcement.

We will endeavour to use the financial resources which will be granted to Abkhazia for the development of agriculture and tourism. These are the spheres of the economy which in the near future will be in high demand on the Russian market. We are undertaking intense negotiations in relation to the attraction of investments that would develop these spheres of the economy, also in the Eastern Abkhazia.

Another important task is the strengthening of the financial and fiscal discipline, as well as the saving of resources. We succeeded in the increase of payments to the budget due to the improvement of the fiscal discipline. Yet, this is not enough for the solution of the pressing tasks of the state. The financial and economical unit is tasked with the increase of our budget up to 5.5 billion rubles. For this, unpopular measures will have to be used. We should use all the existing resources, so that the state is saved in the conditions of an economic crisis.

Our citizens must understand that maintaining the state is our responsibility and our civil duty. It is one of the expressions of patriotism.

Our task is to make people believe in the state, and for that transparency and the suppression of corruption are required. This cannot be achieved only by relying on the honesty of individual managers. We need a system, which the Government is actively engaged in creating, and I place big hopes on their work.

I cannot ignore another important issue. The issue is that lately, expressions of political radicalism have been observed in Abkhazia. This is a very dangerous occurrence, especially in a country which is as vulnerable as ours. One should not confuse patriotism with the irresponsible statements and calls for action. Our country needs stability and reflection, which would help us understand our position and possibilities.

It is possible to hear all the time that agreements with Russia are not be signed, that property is not to be sold, that the customs tax on nuts should not be levied, that investors should not be let in, and that new taxes should not be put in place. Most peculiarly, all these incompatible demands are expected to be fulfilled simultaneously.

Therefore, a question arises: by what means can the state and the law enforcement be maintained? The latter are justly blamed for their lack of efficiency, since they do not have even the minimal logistical possibilities to solve numerous social problems. Let us observe the living conditions that our citizens live in for many years: there are no roads, no functioning system of water supply, and the country is suffocating below thousands of tons of rubbish. In what conditions will we raise and bring up our kids? We keep on saying that they are our future. These problems should not be inherited by the next generations.

The questions of possible selling of property, relations with Russia, and the attraction of investments – all this will be solved only in the interests of the Abkhazian people. There will be no hasty and secret decisions. We know about the risks and we will try to reduce them as much as we can. Let us think about this together. However, we have no right to sit by and look at how our country is degrading.

I want to discuss the question of oil. As we know, in the past it was being solved in a closed manner, and our government undertook responsibilities, which we cannot dismiss now. This will lead to serious negative political and economic consequences. It should be taken into account that the question about the profitability of oil mining on our shelf is far from being resolved, for that we will need many years of research. Only judging by its results will we be able to make a final decision. We also need to take into account the current market conditions for that product, which is unfavorable for the mining industry. Thus, this question should be examined only by taking into account these and other factors of utmost importance, such as ecological security and profit for the people. As the saying goes, everything in its own time. No one is planning to solve this problem in a clandestine manner. Moreover, there is no need in the artificial escalation of the situation, which harms our reputation and our relations with Russia. A great caution is needed here, especially in the given foreign policy conditions.

Apart from this, I want to mention the issue of the law enforcement’s work. I want to emphasise that I am not happy with it. Yet, it is not enough for us to place strict requirements on law enforcement or to rely only on the human resources solution. If we are to place demands on the law enforcement, we must also provide its employees with an adequate pay and technological equipment. There is a serious problem with employees because experienced workers with a Soviet background gradually retire due to age. On the other hand, young and promising people do not want to work in police. Our society suffers from an undeveloped sense of legal awareness. We all want to see compliance with the law, yet friends and relatives are the first to queue with a plea to save someone or other from legal responsibility.

In spite of all the difficulties, we will try to find ways to improve the quality of work in the law enforcement and to toughen the demands on them. Human resources decisions will be made in a fast and appropriate manner, depending on the results of work.

The role of society in the provision of law and order should be increased. For this, a lot of explanatory work and civil activity are needed, as well as public non-tolerance of criminal lifestyle.

These days there is a rotation in the judicial association. This question should be considered thoroughly, since the quality of work of the judicial system depends on it, especially because the judicial system will work in the new constitutional conditions.

I want to mention the issue of the border between Abkhazia and Georgia. We will be undertaking measures to increase control and reduce the number of crossing points. The border must not be like a sieve, through which criminals and contraband goods seep into the country. This undermines our economy. Under the terms of the realisation of the Agreement from November 24, there will be a strengthening of the border with engineering constructions. This process is to be completed in three years. Together with the Russian border guards, we will conduct a range of events for this purpose. Apart from those already mentioned, we have a lot of problems which we can solve only together.

I am sure that we will be able to overcome the difficulties and to strengthen our state. I count on your support and also on the support of all the productive forces of our society.


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