Viacheslav Volodin will arrive in Abkhazia

Caucasus (, - A meeting with representatives of Abkhazia was held in the State Duma of Russia on issues of Russian-Abkhaz cooperation and the development of cooperation in the field of tourism, the press service of the Ministry of Tourism of Abkhazia reported on November 25.

“The meeting was initiated by Deputy Chairmen of the State Duma Sholban Kara-ool and Vladislav Davankov on the eve of the arrival in Abkhazia of the Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Vyacheslav Volodin,” the report says.

The meeting discussed the development of the tourism industry in Abkhazia, attracting investment in this industry, commissioning the Sukhum airport, and simplifying the regime for crossing the Russian-Abkhaz border.

As noted at the meeting, citizens of Russia and Abkhazia do not need to use foreign passports to visit both countries.

Member of the Parliament of Abkhazia Adgur Kharazia noted that the peoples of Abkhazia and Russia have a long relationship of friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields.

“We should not fence ourselves off by the border. When the Russian-Abkhazian agreement on the protection of the border was signed, it was said that the Russian border guards would not stand on Psou, but on the border with Georgia along the Ingur River. But this did not happen. The same thing happened with the customs agreement,” he said.

Russia needs Abkhazia needs Russia, Kharazia emphasized.

The MP also touched upon the topic of the airport and noted that the resumption of its operation would increase the flow of Russian tourists to Abkhazia.

Minister of Tourism Teimuraz Khishba noted that Abkhazia is focused mainly on Russian tourists.

“Russia provides us with tremendous support, and we are, of course, focused on Russian tourists. Abkhazia attracted before and now can attract guests. Abkhazia has the largest amount of fresh water per capita, the largest number of karst caves, 4 of the 10 deepest caves in the world are located in Abkhazia. This is the warmest place on the Black Sea coast. In Abkhazia, they historically attach special importance to hospitality, they especially honor the guest, which is of no small importance in the field of tourism,” Khishba noted.

The minister told the State Duma deputies that 2021 was unprecedented in terms of the number of tourists in post-war Abkhazia.

“One and a half million people, and this despite the fact that the population of the republic is 245 thousand people,” Khishba noted.

As for 2022, due to weather conditions (May and June turned out to be rainy), more than 1 million people visited the republic.

When asked by Russian deputies about what hinders investment in Abkhazia, Teimuraz Khishba replied that the country has a fairly comfortable climate for investment.

“Moreover, when an investor invests more than 70 million rubles, he is exempt from 50% of taxes, and if the amount is even higher, then he is generally exempt from taxes for 8 years,” the minister said.

“Some are embarrassed that our land is not for sale, but I think that Russia treats this with understanding. This is the defense mechanism of our state. We have a very small country, and we protect it. We do not have the right to sell land even within the country,” Khishba explained.

According to him, in recent years, investments in the tourism sector have become noticeably greater. Large facilities began to be built, including in Eastern Abkhazia. There are more opportunities for year-round recreation.

Regarding the airport, Khishba noted that there is an investor to restore its work, by the end of 2024 it is planned to resume air traffic between Abkhazia and Russia.

“Sukhumi airport, one might say, is unique. Its location favorably differs from the Sochi airport by the ability to land planes from two sides. The geographical and climatic conditions of the Sukhumi airport make it all-weather,” the minister noted.

Viacheslav Volodin will arrive in Abkhazia