New foreign minister appointed in Abkhazia. What does it mean?
Inal Ardzinba became the new foreign minister of Abkhazia. Previously, he served in the presidential administration of Russia with the rank of acting state adviser. There, he was in charge of the Ukrainian direction. What is behind this appointment and why did it happen now?
The appointment of a young politician (by Abkhaz standards) to such a high position (Inal Ardzinba is 31 years old) came as a surprise to most experts. His predecessor, Daur Kove, had effectively fulfilled his duties and did not receive any complaints, both from the authorities and from the opposition.
Moreover, Kove enjoyed support of his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. It is believed that it was due to his patronage that Aslan Bzhania, when he came to power in April 2020, kept Daura Kove as minister.
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However, despite this perception, Kove’s resignation and the appointment of Inal Ardzinba to the vacant seat have their own logic:
With the resignation of Kove, the president got rid of the last representative of the team of the former president Raul Khadzhimba in his government (the current Minister of Emergency Situations Lev Kvitsinia does not count, since he has been working since the time of President Sergei Bagapsh);
The current government, among other things, has an acute shortage of media people. The faces of Aslan Bzhania’s current team are Prime Minister Alexander Ankvab and the head of the Security Council Sergei Shamba, although they are old-timers of Abkhaz politics, they are also very old people. In this context, young Inal Ardzinba, who has a rather successful career in Russia behind him, is quite capable of changing this perception in some way.
In addition, for sure, Aslan Bzhania, officially introducing Inal Ardzinba into his team, considered this personnel appointment as a promising “investment”. Now the president actually has some kind of alternative to the current prime minister, Alexander Ankvab, with whom he has a difficult relationship. It is quite possible that if, for some reason, you have to part with the prime minister, it will not take much time for Aslan Bzhania to find a new candidate.
Finally, there is a purely Abkhaz element in the new appointment. The current foreign minister bears the same surname as opposition leader Adgur Ardzinba. Now, when the opposition has united, and its confrontation with the authorities has become inevitable, playing at the “family” level as planned by Bzhania can soften the tension.
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