Abkhazian President Raul Khadzhimba has commended the relations with Russia during an interview with the Abkhazian TV within the framework of his re-election campaign.

The Abkhazian presidential election is set for August 25.

“Good relations with the Russian Federation and its president Vladimir Putin have been building before me, under previous presidents. I can say that the current relations are very good. In recent years, there have been several meetings with the Russian head of state, during which we have hashed over issues related to bilateral relations and the development of Abkhazia,” Khadzhimba said. According to him, the Russian president “knows the situation in Abkhazia, the history of relations with Georgia very well and has a favorable view of the Abkhazian people.”

Speaking of the upcoming meeting with Putin in Sochi on August 6, Khadzhimba said that they would discuss the Abkhazian economy, as well as the issue of restoring the Sukhum Airport. “I often hear people say that the airport issue only arises before the presidential election, but that is not true. No one said that we would open the airport in 20 days, however, I believe that the issues related to the airport that my predecessors <…> worked on, must continue to be discussed. Now, we are preparing the documentation to open the airport, we have an investor, why scare him off?” the Abkhazian leader said.

On July 26, the Abkhazian government approved a decree on giving the Sukhum Airport, which has been out of operation since 1993, a four-letter international code URAS in order to open it for international air travel.