How Abkhazia will pay salaries to state employees when Russia stops doing it in 2025
Russia cuts funding for Abkhazia
Disturbing calculations were presented to the public by the well-known Abkhazian economist Akhra Aristava, analyzing the economic prospects for Abkhazia in 2025, when, according to the agreement, Russia will stop paying salaries to local civil servants.
“A little more than a year and a half is left until 2025. During this time, the government needs to increase the republican budget by almost three and a half billion rubles [about $37.5 million].
This is why, I believe, the head of state, in his message to the National Assembly in 2021, highlighted the importance of supporting domestic production and increasing exports in order to earn this money.
Unfortunately, the government ignored the President’s message.
The Cabinet of Ministers did not increase budget spending on business support and agricultural processing either last year or this year, and even minimal urgent reforms have not been carried out.
As a result, according to the statistics:
- Domestic production is growing slightly.
- Exports are not growing.
- The growth from the tourist flow is not used [for development].
- The amount of money leaving Abkhazia reached an all-time high in 2022: 60 billion rubles [about $750,000].
- Again, as in 2009-2014, imports in 2022 (32 billion rubles) became more than domestic trade (31 billion rubles).
All this negative dynamics clearly shows that in 2025 it will not be possible to independently pay salaries to state employees from the republic’s budget.
There is also nothing to talk about increasing other spending – on defense, demographic policy, energy, healthcare, education.
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“Abkhazia is heading towards financial insolvency, and ordinary citizens in this situation are definitely not laughing”
This is how Akhra Aristava ends his analysis, referring to the laughter with which the ministers reacted to the opposition’s ultimatum during the April 27 government meeting.
On April 25, the opposition issued an ultimatum to President Aslan Bzhaniya. The package of demands included, among other things, the resignation of the government. Two weeks are given to fulfill the requirements, otherwise mass protests are promised.
The next day, a government meeting was held, at which a situation occurred when the ministers actually laughed at the demands of the opposition.
At first, Prime Minister Alexander Ankvab reprimanded Tourism Minister Teimuraz Khishba for incorrect data on the number of tourists visiting Abkhazia, which he told Russian journalists.
Khishba tried to smooth things over with the phrase: “We are in the process of learning.” “What kind of learning?” Ankvab was indignant. – You’re overripe already. What to learn? It’s time to send you…”
Khishba didn’t let the prime minister finish his sentence, jokingly inserting: “It’s time for us all,” hinting at the opposition’s ultimatum. Ankvab appreciated the joke to the laughter of government members and supported it: “They gave us two weeks.”
However, the opposition does not expect President Bzhaniya to back down. Opposition leader Adgur Ardzinba has already announced that protests will begin in mid-May.
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