Russia may launch naval base in Georgian breakaway region in 2024

TBILISI: A Russian naval base in Abkhazia, a breakaway territory internationally recognised as part of Georgia, may become operational in 2024, Russian state news agency RIA quoted Abkhazia‘s security council as saying on Friday.
Russian and Abkhazian authorities agreed in October that Russia could open a permanent naval base in the town of Ochamchire.
RIA quoted the secretary of Abkhazia’s security council, Sergei Shamba, as saying that construction of the base had not yet begun, but that “its operation may begin this year”.
A base in Ochamchire, a town of 5,000 near Abkhazia’s closed frontier with Georgia, would provide a new, more secure harbour for Russia’s Black Sea Fleet after its bases in Crimea came under repeated, damaging attack by Ukraine since Russia’s invasion of that country.
Abkhazia enjoyed extensive Russian support in a series of wars it fought to secede from Georgia in the 1990s and again in 2008, and Russian forces have long been stationed in the Caucasus territory.
Georgia, which regards Abkhazia as its territory, has condemned the Russian plans as a violation of its sovereignty.
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