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Abkhaz Leader Says Russians Will Be Able To Buy Property

Abkhazia's leader Sergei Bagapsh speaks in Moscow.
Abkhazia's leader Sergei Bagapsh speaks in Moscow.
MOSCOW -- The leader of Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia, Sergei Bagapsh, said in Moscow that Russian citizens would soon be eligible to buy property in Abkhazia, RFE/RL's Echo of the Caucasus reports.

Bagapsh, who was reelected in December to a second term as president of the breakaway region in Georgia, said Abkhaz officials are discussing a new law that would allow Russian citizens to buy only newly built houses.

He said it is not possible to buy actual plots of land in Abkhazia, even for Abkhaz citizens, and that there should not be any fear that Russians would buy up the republic.

But the Russian daily "Kommersant" quoted Abkhaz Economy Minister Kristina Ozgan as saying the new law will enable Russians to buy property and land on the same conditions as citizens of Abkhazia.

Thousands of Abkhaz have Russian passports. Abkhazia has been recognized as an independent state only by Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Nauru.