MOSCOW, August 12 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will allocate 15-16 billion rubles (over $465 mln) in 2010 to boost security along Abkhazian borders, the Russian prime minister said on Wednesday.
"Next year we will allocate large funds to address security issues [in Abkhazia], meaning - to build all necessary infrastructure at our military base and on the Abkhazian borders," Vladimir Putin told reporters on the eve of his visit to Abkhazia.
Russia recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia last August after a five-day war with Georgia over the latter, which was attacked by Tbilisi in an attempt to bring it back under central control. Most residents of both Abkhazia and South Ossetia have held Russian citizenship for several years.
Under mutual assistance treaties signed last November, Russia pledged to help Abkhazia and South Ossetia protect their borders, and the signatories granted each other the right to set up military bases in their respective territories.
In Abkhazia, Russia's Defense Ministry has said it plans to open a base in Gudauta, in the west of the republic, and staff it with at least 1,500 personnel by the end of this year.
The base will most likely host T-62 tanks, light armored vehicles, S-300 air defense systems and various aircraft.