Russian President Vladimir Putin plans to visit Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia on the ninth anniversary of the 2008 August war, reports Russian news agency RBC (RosBusinessConsulting).
According to RBC, Putin will meet with the de facto president of Abkhazia, Raul Khajimba, in Abkhazia.
Russian Duma MP Konstantin Zatulin confirmed to RBC regarding Putin's visit to Abkhazia.
Georgia’s State Minister for Reconciliation and Civic Equality Ketevan Tsikhelashvili calls the visit of the Russian president to Abkhazia a ‘continuation of the occupation.’ The minister believes the decision of the Russian president to visit Abkhazia is a provocation.
"This is an attempt to make some kind of provocative action. Put in a single picture, this is a continuous occupation and an attempt at annexation from Russia. Our task is to level out this problem and maintain peace. This is vital for our country,” Tsikhelashvili said today during a brief interview with journalists.
Putin visited Abkhazia previously in 2009 and 2013. The upcoming visit will be held only a few days after US Vice President Mike Pence’ official visit to Georgia.
In Tbilisi, Mike Pence today said that, together with US President Donald Trump, he fully supports the decision of the 2008 NATO Bucharest Summit that Georgia will become a NATO member state.
"I'm sure the day will come when your country will celebrate the the return of its territories," Pence said today in Tbilisi.