Russia planning Abkhazia naval base

Russia plans to build a naval base in Georgia’s breakaway Abkhazia region this year. Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh said the separatist region had agreed in principle to allow Russia to create a base for Black Sea fleet warships in Ochamchira, an Abkhazian port about 32 kilometers up the coast from Georgian-controlled territory. He said there was no written agreement but that Russia intends to begin building the base this year. An unidentified Russian navy official told ITAR-TASS that work on the project, including dredging, would start in 2009, but suggested it could take a few years to complete the base.

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