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August in Eurasia in a nutshell

The Monthly Eurasian Geopolitical Watch Team: Anna Balawender, Morgan Caillet, Yanis Kourrad and Clelia Frouté.

While everyone’s attention is easily diverted from international news in August, EurasiaPeace proposes, to compensate for the break in its weekly monitoring, to provide you with a monthly summary of notable summer geopolitical events in the Eurasian zone. A way to keep up to date with the new year in September so as not to lose track.

European Union – Anna Balawender and Yanis Kourrad

– In early August 2022, the Council of the European Union decided on new sanctions of highly symbolic significance against former Russian President Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych, and his son, Oleksandr Viktorovych Yanukovych, bringing the total number of sanctioned personalities to 1214. These sanctions consist in the freezing of the financial assets of the targeted individuals, as well as a ban on entering European territory. Alongside these new sanctions, decisions made in April 2022 also took effect in August: a ban on the purchase, import or transfer of coal and other solid fossil fuels from Russia.

– In a press release of August 5, 2022, the Council of the EU announced its request to member states to reduce their gas consumption by 15% by March 31, 2023. Member States are free to choose their own method of reduction, but if their efforts are not deemed satisfactory, they may be subjected to mandatory measures decided by the Council.

The Council nevertheless has provided exemptions and derogations for landlocked countries or countries not directly connected to gas networks, for which such a reduction would have a profound impact on the national economy.

– On August 30, in the wake of the announcement that the Gazprom company would suspend gas supply to the Union, the Spanish Minister of Energy and Environment publicly criticized French reservations about the MidCat project, a pipeline project aiming to link the French Midi region to Catalonia. Launched in 2013, the project was suspended in 2019 by the French authorities, arguing excessively high costs and a better rentability of LNG, even though the infrastructure construction had already been completed on the Spanish side.

Spanish President Pedro Sanchez, for his part, pleaded at the end of August for the completion of a gas pipeline linking Spain to Central Europe, which would cross French territory. In a context of increasing difficulty in the supply of gas, this pipeline could relieve the Spanish economy. Moreover, by calling for an extension beyond French territory, Spain is soliciting the support and solidarity of countries beyond France’s borders, so that they may put pressure on Paris.

It is also worth noting that, facing the persistent French refusal, Madrid has initiated a dialogue with Rome for a submarine gas pipeline project, which would allow it to avoid the French coast.

– Several European countries including Germany, Poland, Austria, Greece and Italy, have provided human and material assistance (planes, vehicles) to French firefighters over the past month. European aid is coordinated by the European Civil Protection Mechanism (ECPM), a body created in 2001 by the European Commission, which is activated in case of natural disasters – including fires, floods and earthquakes. The EPCM finances and organizes aid to member countries thanks to European States’ annual contributions.

– Marseille, Lyon, Athens, Florence, Helsinki, Oslo, Riga and Tirana: these are the eight European cities whose mayors went to Kiev on August 19 to show their support for Ukraine, and to ratify a memorandum of agreement “for the sustainable reconstruction of Ukrainian cities”. In concrete terms, this agreement provides for the allocation of technical, logistical and financial assistance to Ukrainian actors “as soon as peace is restored”. The city councils also requested the creation of a working group, composed of representatives of Eurocities and the Ukrainian Congress, to first identify the most urgent needs, and then to coordinate future reconstruction projects.

– After the various economic sanctions taken against Russia in August, it is finally the freedom of movement of Russian citizens on European territory that is being questioned. The unity of Europe, brilliant in the first weeks of the conflict, has since then been undermined by emergency and the anxieties caused by the potential lack of energy supplies, and is once again showing its flaws: the border countries, namely the Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), Finland and Poland, have declared themselves to be in favor of a hard line – suspension or revocation of the agreement permitting the issue of visas.

On the other side, the core nations of the Union, Germany and France, advocated softer restrictions, arguing that such sanctions would not only affect an innocent civil society, but would also undermine potential supporters of European values in Russia.

In order to avoid unilateral decisions, the European Union agreed to a compromise on August 31: not a complete ban on entry, but a revocation of the 2007 agreement, which made it easier to obtain a visa to travel to Europe. Nevertheless, the EU leaves it up to the states bordering Russia to take national measures to restrict the entry of its nationals.

On the Russian side, the debate and the decision that followed are worrying Europeanists – some already discern a return of the Iron Curtain. Others do not feel worried nor concerned. Indeed, the favorite destination of Russian tourists is not part of the European Union: Türkiye.

– Since the beginning of the summer of 2022, news about the deportation of Imam Iquioussen have animated the French media. The “OLFT” (Obligation to Leave the French Territory) that was directed at him by the Ministry of the Interior was firstly rejected by the Administrative Court. But following an appeal by the same ministry, the Council of State finally validated a measure of removal from the territory. After the decision was announced, Mr. Iquioussen crossed the border to join an unpublicized territory. The French State then issued a European arrest warrant for “evading the implementation” of the measure. But his lawyer contests the warrant: by leaving territory France on his own, she claims, Hassan Iquioussen has respected the decision of the State.

Less publicized, other expulsions have nonetheless had an echo at the supra-state level. On Tuesday, August 30, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) condemned the French government for the expulsion of two Chechens to Russia in 2020 – the first was effectively extradited, while the second was the subject of a procedure that did not succeed. In both cases, the ECHR found that France had violated Article 3 of the Geneva Convention, which prohibits states from practicing torture, or otherwise degrading the physical, social or psychological integrity of a national.

– During a meeting held on September 3, Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened Athens with a Turkish intervention, in reaction to the presence of Greek troops on the islands disputed by the two countries. The Turkish president denounced an illegal presence violating the treaties signed after the World wars. The Greek authorities, for their part, recuse Turkish overflights of the disputed islets.

On September 5, the head of the EU’s foreign policy Josep Borrell expressed the concern of the members of the Union in the face of Erdogan’s “aggressiveness“, calling for a “peaceful” resolution of the conflict, “in accordance with international law, and in conformity with the principles of good neighbourly relations“.

Eastern Europe – Clelia Frouté

– On August 4, 2022, Amnesty International published a report denouncing certain Ukrainian combat tactics that endangered the lives of the civilian population. The report details that military bases are set up in residential areas, including hospitals and schools, and that attacks are launched from civilian areas in 19 cases, in violation of international humanitarian law. Agnès Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International said that “being in a defensive position does not exempt the Ukrainian army from the obligation to respect international humanitarian law“.

The report also stresses that this in no way justifies the indiscriminate attacks carried out by Russian forces, and recalls that the organisation denounced Russia’s crime of aggression in invading Ukraine as early as March 1, 2022, and had its offices in Russia closed on April 8, 2022 for its continued defence of human rights and reporting the truth to the Russian authorities. The report states that what it denounces is documented by its research teams.

This highly contested report in the context of the war in Ukraine led to an internal crisis in the NGO, mainly within the branches in Sweden, Norway and Canada, with a series of resignations and a strong wave of protests, and with the resignation of the head of the Ukrainian team, Oksana Pokalchuk, the day after its publication.  The Ukrainian authorities also reacted to the report, claiming that it served Russian propaganda, which Oksana Pokalchuk supported in a Facebook post, regretting that the Ukrainian research teams had not been able to participate in its drafting. To this, Agnes Callamard reiterated that her teams “fully maintain their conclusions“, while regional branches of the NGO were keen to criticise the potential research methods used, demonstrating that the NGO seems more divided than ever.

– The Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant near the city of Enerhodar, was “totally disconnected” from the electricity grid due to line damage caused by fires for several hours on August 25, Ukrainian state-owned Energoatom said. That day, at 12.10 pm, the 6,000-megawatt reactor number 5 shut down due to the triggering of the emergency safety system, and two hours later, the last of the six reactors also shut down under the same conditions. On March 5, 2022, during a Russian assault, one of the six reactors was operational, while another was shut down for maintenance and the other four were in cold shutdown. 

The town of Enerhodar has been occupied by the Russian army since March 2022, and since then bombing has continued in the area, with exhausted plant staff continuing to work. In response to the danger posed by the fighting around the area, the UN has called for a halt to all military activity in the vicinity. President Volodymyr Zelensky, concerned about a worst-case scenario, asked the IAEA to send a team to the site as soon as possible. The IAEA confirmed on 29 August that a team was on its way, arriving in the city on August 31. The team visited the plant site on September 1. Rafael Grossi, the IAEA Director General, gave a press conference on September 2, at which he announced that two of them would remain permanently at the plant. He expressed concern about the “physical integrity” of the plant in the face of the continuing intensity of fighting in the region. An expert report will be issued soon.

– On August 8, 2022, the European Council issued a press release to mark the second anniversary of the “fraudulent presidential elections” in the Republic of Belarus. In it, the organisation reiterated its “unwavering support for [the Belarusians’] democratic aspirations and their efforts to uphold fundamental human rights“.

– On August 18, 2022, the Presidents of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, and Türkiye, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, met in Lviv, Ukraine, together with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. They discussed the recent agreement on the export of Ukrainian grain and its implementation, and the safety of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, which is a matter of serious concern. The Turkish President and the Secretary General reaffirmed their support for Ukraine and the continuity of efforts made since the beginning of the war.

– As the war in Ukraine entered its sixth month, Ukrainians celebrated the 31st anniversary of Ukrainian independence from the USSR on August 24, 2022. Ukrainian flags were raised in Ukraine and around the world, and the occasion allowed many heads of state to express their support for the Ukrainian people.

– On August 26, 2022, the President of the Republic of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, spoke to the official Beita news agency about Russian and Belarusian capabilities to equip Belarusian Sukhoi aircraft to carry nuclear weapons. It is assumed that this would involve the Su-30SM aircraft type, which could potentially carry an IAB-500 type bomb. In addition, it was announced by Vladimir Putin at the end of June that Iskander-M missiles, capable of carrying nuclear warheads, would soon be delivered to Belarus. This follows the referendum of February 27, 2022 which removed the nuclear neutrality clause from the Belarusian Constitution.

Russia – Clelia Frouté

– On Monday August 9, Vladimir Putin announced the suspension of US inspections under the New Start Treaty, an agreement that provided key measures for nuclear disarmament between the two states. He said this was in response to US actions to obstruct Russian inspections in the US.

– Russia announced on August 18, 2022 that it had deployed hypersonic missiles in its Kaliningrad exclave. The Russian Defence Ministry said this was “part of the implementation of additional strategic deterrence measures“, specifically the deployment of three MiG-31s loaded with Kinjal hypersonic missiles, positioned at the Chkalovsk airfield.

– President Vladimir Putin spoke at the St Petersburg Economic Forum (25th SPIEEF) on August 16, 2022. He emphasised the Russian perspective on the current global economic situation and its prospects, and how Russia plans to act to adapt to a rapidly changing economic landscape. He recalled his speech at the Davos Summit in 2020, where he said that the unipolar world was over, and reiterated this today.

– In a letter from Vladimir Putin to the Supreme Leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Km Jung-Un, Russia’s interest in strengthening ties with North Korea was underlined. The stability and security of the Korean peninsula and the North-East Asian region were discussed. Kim Jung-Un responded by letter, assuring the development of “strategic and tactical cooperation, support and solidarity” between the two countries. The two leaders seem to agree on their strategic and military orientations, “to counteract the threats and provocations of hostile military forces“.

– Daria Dugina, daughter of Russian writer and political scientist Alexander Dugin, was murdered on August 20, 2022 in a car bomb explosion near Moscow. It is assumed that the target must have been her father, as the car was his and she did not usually use it. The FSB was quick to accuse the Ukrainian special services of orchestrating the attack, which Ukrainian presidential adviser Mikhailo Podoliak refuted, saying that Ukraine was not a “criminal state“. On August 22, the FSB claimed that a certain Natalia Vovk, a 43-year-old Ukrainian citizen, was responsible for the crime. Ms Vovk is said to have come to Russia with her 12-year-old daughter, where she rented a flat in the building where Daria Dugina lived. She then followed her to a cultural festival on the day of the explosion, activated the explosive charges and left Russian territory via Estonia. This version is being questioned by many, including the speed with which the FSB solved the investigation, the ease with which evidence was gathered, and the fact that the name of the potential culprit was so quickly circulated.

– The Secretary General of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, Stanislav Zas, met with the UN Under-Secretary General for Europe, Central Asia and America, Miroslav Jenča, on August 16, 2022. The topics of conflict early warning and crisis management were discussed in the context of the dramatically worsening security and political situation. The draft resolution of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly on cooperation between the UN and the CSTO, which is currently being prepared, aims to contribute to the achievement of the objectives for the readiness to use the CSTO’s peacekeeping capabilities in UN peacekeeping operations. Regional security, specifically the case of Afghanistan, was also discussed. CSTO Deputy Secretary General Samat Ordabaev and the Director of the UN Information Centre in Moscow, Vladimir Kuznetsov, also participated in the meeting.

– The former General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, also known as “the father of Perestroika”, died on August 30, 2022 after an illness. His funeral took place on September 3, and Vladimir Putin’s absence from the ceremony did not go unnoticed. 

– Gazprom announced on August 29, 2022 that it would stop delivering gas to Engie from September 1. The reason given was Engie’s failure to pay for gas deliveries in July. The announcement came on the eve of a three-day interruption of Russian gas deliveries to Europe with the scheduled closure of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline for maintenance from August 31, to September 2, during which an oil leak was also reportedly spotted. “Gazprom Export has notified Engie of the total suspension of gas deliveries from September  1, 2022, until it receives full payment for deliveries already made,” the Gazprom statement said.

– On September 3, 2022, the President of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, announced in a video posted on his Telegram account that he wished to step down. In the video, he said he had reflected on the fact that he was the longest-serving leader of a republic in the Russian Federation, having been in power for 15 years, and had concluded that it was time for him to retire “before he is driven out”. He spoke of an “indefinite and long holiday“. These comments, made in a more than particular context, raise questions and must be put into perspective, given that the Chechen leader had already mentioned a potential departure on several occasions in the past. In 2017, he had indeed declared that it was his “dream” to “retire“, adding that there was a time when he was needed “to fight, to restore order“, but that order had been obtained.

Central Asia – Clelia Frouté, Anna Balawender – 

Many people from Pamir, an autonomous region where violent protests took place during May and June 2022, are accused of activism and have been arrested and tried during August 2022. These trials are taking place in a questionable judicial framework, where the accused have little or no access to a defence, in a region where there are only “four officially registered lawyers as members of the GBAO for every 250,000 inhabitants”. The International Commission of Jurists called in early August on the Tajik authorities to ensure that those charged in connection with the Gorno-Badkhstan Autonomous Region protests have access to a lawyer: “At present, defendants in dozens of cases are not represented by a lawyer, despite the fact that many face long prison sentences if convicted.

On July 26, the State Committee for National Security, or GKNB, formerly the KGB, arrested Ismaili cleric Muzaffar Davlatmirov on charges of inciting extremist activities. Davlatmirov was reportedly sentenced to five years in prison on August 3. Businessmen from the region have also been charged with the same offence, while several people, including relatives of Pamiri community leader Tolib Ayembekov, were charged, tried and convicted for the murder of the head of the GBAO (Gorno-Badakhstan) department of the GKNB, Abdullo Nazarov, in 2012. One of Ayembekov’s sons, Hasanali Abdurakhmonov, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for hooliganism and weapons possession on 1 August, and the other son, Gulomali, to life imprisonment on August 5, for the murder. Their uncle, Okil Ayembekov, and their father’s driver Hamza Murodov, were also arrested on this charge at the time. The trials of more than 80 people began in August, including many of the region’s activist and political figures and their relatives.

– Talks between Tajik Ambassador Davlatshoh Gulmahmadzeda and political and industrial representatives of the Sverdlovsk Oblast in the Urals were held in its capital, Yekaterinburg, on August 30, 2022. The agenda of the talks included issues of interaction between the parties in the spheres of trade, economy, education, tourism, medicine and culture. The parties reached a partnership agreement in the pharmaceutical field. The stimulation of tourism with the increase of direct flights was also discussed. Special attention will also be paid to university programmes in Russia for Tajik students to focus on training highly qualified specialists in the field of economics.

The National Agency for Perspective Projects (NAPP), Uzbekistan’s crypto-currency regulator, blocked access to international exchanges on August 9, 2022, as they were operating without the licenses Uzbekistan requires them to obtain. This operation also led to the blocking of some social networks such as TikTok. Binance is in negotiations with the Uzbek government to get it unblocked in the country.

– The Uzbek president negotiated nearly $14 billion in investments from Saudi Arabia during his visit to the country, from which he returned on August 19, 2022. Commitment agreements were signed, mainly in the energy sphere. The Saudi company ACWA Power is planning to build a 1.5 GW wind farm in Karakalpakstan. The Uzbek Ministry of Energy said it would be the largest in the world and would power 1.65 million homes. ACWA Power has already started building two smaller wind farms in the Bukhara region. ACWA has also agreed to research the future of green hydrogen in Uzbekistan. A third document signed between the two energy ministries envisages investments in the natural gas industry in Uzbekistan.

– Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade of Uzbekistan Jamshid Khodjaev received the Minister of Energy and Infrastructure of the United Arab Emirates Suhail Mohammed al-Mazrouei on August 29, 2022. The issues of further development of bilateral cooperation in the fields of trade, economy, investment, transport and logistics, agriculture, traditional and alternative energy, as well as tourism were discussed. Currently, the joint investment portfolio includes 17 projects worth $3 billion, the Uzbekistan-Emirates joint investment company with a declared capital of $1 billion also continues to operate. The issues of implementation of privatisation projects of new and already functional power units on the basis of Talimarjan TPP by UAE companies were also discussed.

– Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev received two representatives of the US Congress, Trent Kelly and Darin Lahoud, on August 22. The parties exchanged views on the possibilities of intensifying the Uzbek-American strategic partnership and interaction in other areas. Partnership development issues in areas such as agribusiness, digital technologies, industry, healthcare and education were also on the agenda of the meeting.

– The Tashkent Declaration was signed on August 2, 2022 at the end of the tripartite meeting between the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Uzbekistan. The declaration aims to strengthen cooperation between the three countries, with the promotion of joint investment projects and the efficient use of transport and logistics opportunities.

– On August 31, Kyrgyzstan celebrated the 31st anniversary of its independence from the Soviet Union. On this occasion, the President of the Kyrgyz Republic received congratulations from several leaders, including Vladimir Putin and Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. The Russian president said he hoped for further rapprochement between his country and the Kyrgyz government, while the chief executive of Kazakhstan welcomed the growing friendship between the two neighboring countries.

– The eight members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) met in Tashkent on August 24 to discuss security issues in the region. According to Tass, a Russian news agency, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Shoigu spoke about security in Central Asia at the meeting, announcing the “intensification of military preparedness of Russian bases in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as other reaction forces in case of a potential crisis.”

– Kyrgyz and Uzbek officials met in Cholpon-Ata (Kyrgyzstan) on 26 August, during a meeting of the Eurasian Economic Union, to continue the debate on the final definition of their borders. The border between the two countries, 1314 kilometers long, has been the scene of several altercations over the past thirty years – the demarcation not having been sufficiently clarified at the fall of the Soviet Union.

The meeting in Cholpon-Ata follows a first meeting in Andijan in July, when an initial border line was discussed. The representative of the Kyrgyz Cabinet of Ministers, Nazirbek Borubaev, affirmed the willingness of both sides “to complete the resolution of border disputes with Uzbekistan by the end of the year.

South Caucasus – Morgan Caillet

– New clashes in Karabakh took place on August 3, resulting in the death of two Armenian soldiers and an Azerbaijani soldier as well as 19 wounded, during an operation called “revenge” by Baku in retaliation for the action of “members of illegal Armenian armed groups” and which allowed the resumption of control of many strategic points including the heights of Saribaba or Buzdukh. The day before, the Azerbaijani authorities had pressed to accelerate the restitution of the Lachin corridor by Armenia, scheduled for 2023, by the ceasefire agreement signed under the aegis of Russia. The inhabitants of 3 localities, including that of Latchin, were thus ordered to leave this area before August 25, by the authorities of “Nagorno-Karabakh” themselves from August 5, and the evacuation was effective within the time limits imposed by the Azerbaijani side.

On August 24, the United States appointed a new representative to the Minsk group, Philip Reeker, provoking criticism from the Azerbaijani MFA. The Shusha conference of August 27 on the reconstruction of Karabakh was held in the presence of most foreign embassies in Baku with the exception of French and American representatives. On August 31, former Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Minister Mikhail Arzumanian was arrested by Armenian authorities for “negligence” during the “44-day war”.

On August 31, a new and fourth meeting took place in Brussels between the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, who described the exchanges as “open and fruitful“, the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliev, and the Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikola Pashinian. It was decided to meet within a month of the MAEs of the two countries to start working on the preparation of the texts concerning a peace treaty and a next meeting of the border delimitation commissions in November in Brussels. Russia’s reaction, through Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry, the next day was as follows: “EU activity in the South Caucasus is determined by geopolitical ambitions. In our opinion, this has nothing to do with the real desire to contribute to the improvement of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan. These are false initiatives by Europeans, which are more like a usurpation of the laurels of mediation, with nothing underneath”.

On September 2, the anniversary of the declaration of independence by the authorities of “Nagorno-Karabakh” in 1991, Arayik Hatoutiounian, “president” of this self-proclaimed republic, declared that he had not renounced the independence of this entity.

– On August 4, the Embassy of Azerbaijan in the United Kingdom was the target of a terrorist attack by an Islamist group which took over the premises to commit acts of vandalism.

– On August 14, an explosion in the Sourmalou market in Yerevan left 16 dead, around 60 injured and 2 missing.

– While on August 7 and 8 Georgia celebrated the 14th anniversary of the 2008 war, and received the support of representatives of the EU and the United States, while Russia blamed them for the suspension of Geneva International Discussions, four former MPs from the ruling Georgian Dream party accused the United States a few days later, on August 11, of being the source of all the political controversies in the country since 2018 and of pursue the goal of a coup d’etat to depose the current government. On August 13, the European External Action Service published a new report on the implementation of the association with Georgia indicating numerous points of progress in the following areas: judicial reforms, organization of elections, telephone tapping, media environment, service of the State inspector and civil society, gender equality….On August 18, three people were indicted in Georgia for the purchase, storage and attempted sale of radioactive substances. A report by the Georgian Public Services Development Agency provided the following figures regarding the Russian presence in the territory in 2022: 600 companies created and about 2000 residence permits (1288 temporary residence permits and 690 permanent residence permits). On August 30, the joint exercise between the Georgian and United States Marine Special Forces, which lasted two weeks, ended. On August 31, the Georgian MFA participated in an informal meeting of European MFAs under the Czech Presidency to discuss the international consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

– On August 18, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia signed an agreement on the exchange of information to simplify customs procedures for rail transit on the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars axis. The following day, Georgia and Armenia inaugurated the “Friendship Bridge” between the two countries, the construction of which began a year ago on the Debed River, and which is expected to double the transport capacity at the border. .

– On August 24, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan signed the “Comprehensive program for the development of cooperation between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2022-2026”, the “Declaration on strengthening strategic relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Deepening of Allied Mutual Activities”, the “Cooperation Program in the Field of Culture”, the “Cooperation Plan” between the two Foreign Ministries, the “Agreement of trade and economic cooperation” and several additional memorandums of understanding.

– South Ossetia appointed a new “Minister of Foreign Affairs” in the person of Akhsar Dzhioev on August 15, who met with the “Ambassador of Abkhazia” on August 22, while the authorities of the republic self- proclaimed spoke on August 18 for the opening of Odzisi and Sinaguri crossing points with Georgia on a monthly basis from 20 to 30 of each month during the day.

– On August 17, the “President of Abkhazia”, Aslan Bzhania, held a meeting with members of the Public Chamber about the transfer of ownership of several parts of the Bishvinta resort to Russia, a subject for which he insisted on the assistance provided by Russia, particularly in terms of military security, or the Psou checkpoint and the problems of restricting the passage of goods. On August 31, the Russian ambassador said that without obtaining the property of Pitsunda, the Russian army could leave Abkhazia and abandon the investment programs concerning the airport and the railways.

– Syria and Abkhazia issued a joint statement on August 25, supporting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, saying it “aims to create a more just world order, where peoples’ rights and historical destiny are respected“. While on the same day “President” Aslan Bzhania declared that Abkhazia was ready to join the Union State of Russia and Belarus.

 

 

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