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  Tuesday, August 4, 2020
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A delegation of the pro-Kremlin party United Russia has made a trip to the breakaway Georgian republic of Abkhazia
delegation of the pro-Kremlin party United Russia, which currently holds a majority of seats in the lower parliamentary house, has made a trip to the breakaway Georgian republic of Abkhazia, party spokespeople report. The delegation includes Valery Bogomolov, secretary of the United Russia General Council, Vitaly Margelov, and Pavel Pozhigailo. They have by now met with Lieutenant General Alexander Yevteyev, commander of the joint peacekeeping force in the Georgia-Abkhazia conflict zone, and servicemen of the peacekeeping contingent deployed in the capital, Sukhumi, and in the city of Gudauta, halfway between Sukhumi and the Russian border. The trip was a conventional one, party spokespeople quote Mr. Bogomolov as saying. According to him, the Sochi branch of United Russia patronizes Abkhazia's peacekeepers and Sochi Vice Mayor Alexei Ivashkin has arranged for a rehabilitation center to be set up on the grounds of a Sukhumi military hospital, with treatment provided for civilians as well as military personnel. Commenting on pronouncements by some Georgian politicians on the subject of Abkhazia, Mr. Bogomolov said it was calm down there now, "thanks primarily to our peacekeepers' efforts." "For a decade now, they've been doing all it takes to sustain normal life in the republic and to ensure that tens of thousands of Russian holiday-makers can vacation in peace," he said. The conflict between Georgia's central government and the authorities of what it sees as its renegade province flared up following Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili's statement that Abkhazia, proclaimed by the UN as a closed territory, was no resort destination. He went as far as threatening to sink all Abkhazia-bound Russian ships with holiday-makers on board. Earlier, a Turkish vessel had reportedly come under fire as it had attempted to approach the Abkhaz coast without prior authorization from Georgian officials. The Russian Foreign Ministry strongly censured Georgia's demarche, emphasizing that Russia had sufficient means to ensure the security of its nationals, wherever they may be located.
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