DRI: The controversial draft law gives Russian citizens the right to purchase real estate in Abkhazia
The sale of real estate and land to foreigners is still prohibited in Abkhazia. Prohibitions related to the purchase of property in Abkhazia for Russian citizens have repeatedly become a reason for the irritation of high-ranking Russian officials.
For years, the de facto authorities of Abkhazia have tried and succeeded in postponing the consideration of the issue. However, the request of the Russian side has not been removed from the agenda. According to the information posted on the website of the de facto parliament of Abkhazia, in the hot days of July, the parliament of Abkhazia is discussing the adoption and enactment of a new law "On the regulation of the legal status of aparthotels and apartments". The initiator of the legislative proposal is the de facto president. According to the information spread by public sources, Aslan Bzhania is demanding from the de facto parliament to adopt the draft law in July.
According to the draft law, foreigners or stateless persons will no longer prohibited from buying apartments in aparthotels. The only exceptions will be the cases when a citizen of a foreign country or a stateless person (or their family member) participates in actions against the "independence" of Abkhazia. Even though owning property will not become the basis for obtaining the right of residence or citizenship in Abkhazia, the main part of the Abkhazian society opposes the adoption of the draft law. According to them, the goal of the new legislation will be to transfer the strategic property of Abkhazia to the ownership of Russians.
While the Abkhazian opposition is campaigning against the draft law on the grounds that it will facilitate the purchase of property in Abkhazia by ethnic Georgian citizens of Russia, it is clear that part of the Abkhazian civil society is critical of Russian "investors". Some Abkhazians believe that the government is using Abkhazian property against national interests. Russian money is expected to be invested in Gali as well, in old hotels.
According to the assessment of the Democracy Research Institute, the processes ongoing in Abkhazia, contain a significant threat of annexation of Abkhazia in the long term and the implementation of similar initiatives should not be allowed until the regulation of the conflict.