At 6 a.m. on December 27, the de facto parliament of occupied Abkhazia ratified the Russia-Abkhazia agreement, which hands over the Bichvinta state resort to Russia. The so-called President Aslan Bzhania signed the laws adopted by the de facto parliament today.

“We were all worried about this situation. Parliament members also struggled a lot. Today we hosted several delegations and discussed several possibilities for the adoption of this agreement for the security of the Republic. A meeting of the government and the opposition was held, at which we adopted a document based on consensus. These are changes in the relevant laws, the law on international agreements, the civil code, and the special constitutional law, which will specifically concern the transfer of the state resort. It states that in case of transfer of the site to third parties, the contract is canceled and the ownership is restored to the Republic of Abkhazia - such a decision was discussed at the meeting of the government and the opposition,” the so-called Chairman of the Parliament Lasha Ashuba addressed the participants of the protest rally taking place near the de facto Parliament building.

The protesters called the decision of the de facto parliament shameful and demanded its cancellation. Ashuba urged them not to escalate the situation and disperse.

The day prior, the de facto General Prosecutor of Abkhazia, Adgur Agrba, appealed to the population of Abkhazia to refrain from participating in the unauthorized rally of the opposition.

The de facto parliament had planned to ratify the Russia-Abkhazia agreement on the transfer of the Bichvinta state resort at the December 28 session; however, it was finally decided to discuss the issue a day earlier. There are 35 members in the de facto parliament. 28 of them attended the session, of which 26 supported the transfer of the Bichvinta state resort to Russia.

“Our worst fears realized. The deputies ignored the Constitution of the Republic of Abkhazia. Members of Parliament must justify why they decided to hold an extraordinary session at night. They should have documented the legality of this session,” said former de facto public defender of Russian-occupied Abkhazia, Asida Shakril.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, the ratification of the agreement on the transfer of the Bichvinta state resort to the Russian Federation by the so-called parliament of the occupation regime of Abkhazia is another illegal act and a continuation of Russia's policy of occupation of the indivisible regions of Georgia.

“From the point of view of international law, any such agreement has no legal force and is void. Accordingly, the agreement signed on the transfer of the territory under the conditions of occupation of the Abkhazian region cannot have any kind of legal validity,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

The agreement on the transfer of Bichvinta State Resort to the Russian Federation was signed in January 2022, although it has not yet been ratified by the de facto parliament. Within 6 months after the entry of the document into force, the resort (184 hectares area) - plots of land, buildings, and part of the surrounding seawater should be transferred to Russia free of charge. The agreement is signed for 49 years, although it can be automatically extended for another 15. The Russian side will pay 1 ruble annually to the budget in exchange for the transferred property.

Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to build a modern residence on the territory of Bichvinta State Resort.

In an interview given to RIA Novosti in August of last year, the so-called ambassador to the Russian Federation in Abkhazia Mikhail Shurgalin stated that the delay in the ratification of the agreement affects Russia's investment in such large projects in Abkhazia as the construction of the airport and tourist facilities and the reconstruction of the Abkhaz railway.

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