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Putin pledges $343 mln in Russian aid to Abkhazia in 2010-2011

© RIA Novosti . Aleksey Nikolskyi / Go to the photo bankPrime Minister Vladimir Putin during Russian-Abkhazian intergovernmental talks in Sukhumi
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during Russian-Abkhazian intergovernmental talks in Sukhumi - Sputnik International
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Moscow and Sukhumi have drafted a socioeconomic development plan for Abkhazia in 2010-2011 that envisages 10.9 billion rubles ($343 million) in aid to the former Georgian republic, Russia's prime minister said on Wednesday.

SUKHUMI, August 12 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow and Sukhumi have drafted a socioeconomic development plan for Abkhazia in 2010-2011 that envisages 10.9 billion rubles ($343 million) in aid to the former Georgian republic, Russia's prime minister said on Wednesday.

Vladimir Putin on Wednesday paid his first visit to Abkhazia, which Russia recognized as an independent state last August after a five-day war with Georgia over South Ossetia, which Moscow also recognized as independent.

"This concerns infrastructure, communications, transportation, healthcare and education," Vladimir Putin told Abkhazian opposition leaders.

Prior to the visit, Putin said Russia would allocate 15-16 billion rubles (over $465 million) in 2010 to boost security along Abkhazian borders.

Russian Regional Development Minister Viktor Basargin said decisions would be made to allocate the sum from the Russian federal budget.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visited South Ossetia in July, a trip that Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili called "immoral" and "despicable."

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