International organizations in Abkhazia face stricter rules but keep going
International organizations in Abkhazia
International organizations in Abkhazia are subject to stricter rules following president Aslan Bzhania’s amendment to the decree “On some measures for implementation of projects of foreign non-governmental and international organizations.” But concerns that NGO activities would face severe restrictions were not justified.
According to the amendments, NGOs and international organizations are now required to inform the Foreign Ministry about their specific activities, and the amount of funding for each, in Abkhazia.
“Interim reports on the progress of the project shall be submitted for each calendar quarter not later than the 10th day of the month following the expired quarter regardless of the date of the beginning of the project,” the document says.
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Last week, foreign Minister Inal Ardzinba announced the authorities’ intention to change the activities of international non-governmental organizations in Abkhazia. Following a meeting with heads of offices of international NGOs accredited in Abkhazia, Ardzinba hinted at the possibility of some organizations being banned from operating in Abkhazia.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) was specifically mentioned as potentially facing sanctions due to its projects aimed at countering the influence of the Kremlin and restoring the territorial integrity of Georgia.
Minister Ardzinba stated that “those intending to harm Abkhaz-Russian relations or consider Abkhazia as “occupied territory” will soon face closures.”
However, the amendments to president Aslan Bzhania’s decree do not include bans or restrictions on the activities of international organizations, including USAID.
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