Д.Медведев.Российско-абхазские переговоры.17.02.10.Part 2





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News Conference following Russian-Abkhazian Summit.Part 2
February 17, 2010
The Kremlin, Moscow

Пресс-конференция по итогам российско-абхазских переговоров на высшем уровне.
17 февраля 2010 года Москва, Большой Кремлёвский дворец

Concluding these opening remarks, I want to say that this year has particular significance, and it is symbolic that the President of Abkhazias visit falls precisely at this time, because almost exactly 200 years ago, Alexander I signed the decree bringing the Abkhazian principality under Russias protection, thus resolving a number of serious problems the Abkhazian people faced at that moment.

We are marking this date with cultural events in which the public is taking part. This is also a very important part of our cooperation.

I thank Mr Bagapsh for the constructive dialogue and for developing friendly relations between our countries, and I once again congratulate him on his re-election to office as President of Abkhazia.

PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ABKHAZIA SERGEI BAGAPSH: Thank you very much, Mr President. Friends, colleagues,

On behalf of the Abkhazian people I personally want to say an enormous thank you for the fact that we are here, in the Kremlin, the heart of Russia, among our friends, as a recognised country. We are fully aware of everything that is taking place. We are very much aware of Russias and Mr Medvedevs attitude towards us and our problems. We realise that the decision taken in 2008 was a bold and wise step, and that not everything is so straightforward in the international community. But we know that Russia is a strong and powerful country that speaks out as such.

We began working on the agreements signed today a long time ago, before recognition of our independence. Mr President, you know that your ministries and agencies have helped Abkhazia often and in many ways. Now we are giving these relations a new legal foundation. The agreements we signed today place many responsibilities on Abkhazia. We only recently began developing as an independent country and we still have much to learn, much to get used to, because sovereign countries have far more obligations towards the international community and international agreements than they do privileges. We are ready for this. Russias recognition of Abkhazia in 2008 places great responsibility on our country and we want to do everything possible, whether in our domestic situation or foreign policy activity, to live up to the hopes placed on us.

I want to thank you from all my heart for the good friendship we have. Mr President, in Abkhazia you have a good ally. The people of Abkhazia are very grateful to you for everything, and we will always stand by you no matter what lies ahead. Let us hope that what lies ahead is peace, happiness, well being and prosperity for our peoples.

Thank you very much.

QUESTION: You have just signed intergovernmental agreements. Do you plan to sign more agreements in other areas soon? This question is for Mr Bagapsh.

SERGEI BAGAPSH: Yes, a considerable number of agreements will still be needed to ensure our countrys normal work and develop our statehood and inter-state relations. We have signed nine agreements and we have 22 more agreements currently in the pipeline. We will sign some more agreements in all different areas because we cannot just limit ourselves to a few ministries and agencies, after all, but need to develop the whole range of relations between our countries. Agreements serve as the basis on which we build these relations, and so yes, this process will continue.

QUESTION: We see that relations are indeed growing fast. This is a fact, but there is also another factor of no small importance in the Trans-Caucasus, namely, the Georgian leaderships position.

Mr Medvedev, do you intend to end the freeze in relations with Georgia?

Mr Bagapsh, I address the same question to you, only with an additional question: to what extent do the tragic events of the last two decades hinder or affect you in the necessary task of developing relations with your neighbour, Georgia?

DMITRY MEDVEDEV: I have said on many occasions that Russian-Georgian relations, just like Russian-Abkhazian relations, go back centuries, and we have always had the warmest feelings for the Georgian people and, I am sure, will continue to do so. Ultimately, even the serious conflict that took place in 2008 cannot ruin these relations, I am sure.



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