Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia and met with Abkhazia’s de facto leader, President Raul Khajimba. Putin arrived in Abkhazia on August 8, on the nine-year anniversary of the 2008 August War.
Putin stated after the meeting with Khajimba that Russia plans to be the guarantor of the security and independence of Abkhazia.
“We have special relations with Abkhazia. We give them a trustworthy guarantee of security and independence. I’m sure that this will be the same in the future too,” Putin said.
President Putin also said that Abkhazia will be supported by Russia on the international level.
“Russia will continue supporting Abkhazia on the international level. The citizens of Abkhazia, Russians, and guests should realize that they are under safe protection,” he said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia has said that Putin’s visit to Abkhazia is an to attempt to legitimize an occupation regime, in an official statement on August 8.
NATO acting spokesperson Dylan White also condemned Putin’s visit to Abkhazia, stating he regrets “that this visit was carried out without prior consent of the Georgian authorities.”