Abkhazia: Alexander Ankwab Appointed Prime Minister
The new head of government has already been ushered in at the first meeting of the new Cabinet of Ministers during which the president received the resignation of the previous cabinet of ministers headed by Nodar Khashba.
The president of Abkhazia confirmed at his inauguration ceremony that the new Abkhazia leadership would maintain the policy line at a strategic union with Russia.
“Integration with Russia will always be an issue of paramount importance for Abkhazia,” he said.
“History has held us bound to Russia for many years, and we look at Russia as our protector and defender,” Bagapsh said. “It’s Russia that acts as a peacekeeper between Abkhazia and Georgia”.
He mentioned some aspects of economic integration with Russia.
“Over the short term, we’ll have to harmonize our economic, taxation, customs, and social laws with Russian legislation,” Bagapsh said.
“Abkhazia is open to Russian investment,” he indicated. “We already have a number of joint enterprises, but I wouldn’t say the intensity of our cooperation is satisfactory”.
Bagapsh stressed Abkhazia’s “commitment to the principles of democracy,” adding that the change of power in the region had occurred in a legitimate way.
As he assumed responsibility for Abkhazia, Bagapsh made a promise to consider “the interests of society and the Abkhazian people as guidelines for the activity of all agencies of power”.
He thanked his predecessor at the presidential post, Vladislav Ardzinba. “His name and achievements will always remain in the history of the Abkhazian people,” Bagapsh said.
The new Prime Minister, Alexander Ankwab, commanded the Abkhazian police force in 1992 and 1993 at the peak of an armed conflict between Abkhazia and Georgia.