“Abkhazia in the context of Russian-Turkish relations”

On April 12, 2019, a conference “Abkhazia in the context of Russian-Turkish relations” was held in Sukhum, in which experts from Abkhazia of Russia and Turkey took part. In particular, Professor Mustafa Aydin, who is the President of the Council on Foreign Relations of Turkey and the former Rector of the Kadir Has University in Istanbul;

Dr. Mitat Celikpala is Professor of International Relations and Dean of the Faculty of Economics, Administrative and Social Sciences at Kadir Has University, Istanbul. He is an expert on security issues in Eurasia, security and protection of energy and critical infrastructure, foreign and domestic policy of Turkey and the Caucasus;

Tlostnakov Asker a Political scientist - a researcher at the Southern Federal University, specializing in state and national construction in the de facto, ethnic and religious mobilization states in the North Caucasus;

Veronika Tsibenko - Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Humanitarian Studies of the Southern Federal University (TsMGI SFU);

Professor Sergey Shamba - former Minister of Foreign Affairs and former Prime Minister of the Republic of Abkhazia, and now the chairman of the “United Abkhazia” party;

Soner Gogua - President of the Public Organization the “International Fund Apsny”, Member of the Parliament of the IV convocation.

The conference was moderated by Maxim Gvindzhia, Vice-President of the “International Fund Apsny”. The conference was attended by a large number of guests representing the expert community, the country's leadership, as well as diplomats and staff of diplomatic missions in Abkhazia.

All experts noted that the intensive development of economic ties between Russia and Turkey is insufficient, without strengthening contacts at the human, as well as at the cultural and humanitarian levels.

Projects for the development of humanitarian and cultural cooperation should receive the same support as the large-scale economic and trade relations between Russia and Turkey, which will enable all other countries in the region to become more actively involved in these processes.

All participants in such cooperation, and, moreover, Russia and Turkey should create a more comprehensive, long-term political and social agenda so that the developing relationship is strengthened and not subject to global processes and contradictions between Turkey and the West, as well as Russia and the West.

The development of relations between Russia and Turkey plays a large role in the economy and social sphere of Abkhazia. Russia is a strategic partner and ally of Abkhazia, Turkey is the second, by volume, trading partner of Abkhazia. The trade turnover between Russia and Turkey is constantly growing and Abkhazia can be used as an additional element to increase these trade flows. Good relations between Russia and Turkey are the key to stability in the Black Sea-Caucasus region.

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