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Raul Khajimba opposes oil extraction in Abkhazia

Abkhazian President Raul Khajimba

Abkhazian President Raul Khajimba has confirmed that he is against oil extraction in Abkhazia.

According to Apsnypress, on July 29, Khajimba instructed the Cabinet to create a committee for examining this problem.

On July 28, a group of employees of the Abkhazian Institute for Research in the Humanities spoke out against plans to extract oil in Abkhazia.

As EADaily reported on July 28, Abkhazia’s political parties and NGOs have urged their authorities to create a committee so as to see if the contracts signed with Russian oil companies in recently years serve the country’s national interests.

In 2011-2013, the Government of Abkhazia signed contracts with Russia oil companies and later gave them licenses for offshore oil extraction projects. In May 2014 then Abkhazian President Alexander Ankvab welcomed Eduard Khudainatov’s NNK in Abkhazia. In June 2015 Rosneft, who has 45-year license for offshore activities in Abkhazia, was given three years more to prospect the country’s sea shelf.

The Abkhazian authorities have drafted a bill banning extraction and production of oil and gas in Abkhazia as this is bad not only for nature but also for agriculture and tourism. On July 8, the bill was removed from the parliament’s agenda. Its supporters demand a 30-year ban on offshore oil projects.

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