Abkhasia’s leader says he has agreed to allow Moscow to set up a naval base in the Black Sea port of Novorossysk after a series of Ukrainian attacks on Russia’s fleet in Sevastopol.
The leader of the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia says he’s agreed to allow Russia to build a naval base in the Black Sea port of Novorossysk after a series of Ukrainian attacks on Russia’s fleet in Sevastopol.
“We have signed an agreement and in the near future in the Ochamchira region there will be a permanent base for the Russian navy,” Aslan Bzhania told Izvestiya newspaper on Thursday, one day after meeting with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.
“All this is aimed at increasing the level of defence capabilities of both Russia and Abkhazia, and this type of interaction will continue because it guarantees the interests fundamental interests of both Abkhazia and Russia and security comes first.” There are also things I cannot talk about,” Bzhania said.
Moscow has recognised the enclave and the territory of South Ossetia as independent states since 2008.
Tbilisi has called the move a gross violation of Georgia’s sovereignty.
Some experts say Putin is retreating in the face of Ukraine’s counteroffensive, but others say the move is a strategic one.
In a post on X, Britain’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, James Cleverly, warned that Russia may be expanding its naval presence towards Turkey to prevent the safe passage of Ukrainian grain ships.
Others fear that Russia is transferring warships to Abkhazia to pave the way for future annexation.
Only four other countries including Syria and Venezuela recognise the enclave’s independence. Georgia considers the region to be under Russian occupation.