Abkhazian customs vehicle checkpoint. Photo by Anna Gritsevich for the ‘Caucasian Knot’.

06 July 2016, 19:46

Residents of Abkhazia regret about departure of tourists after riots

Tourists leave Abkhazia after the riots in Sukhumi and move to Sochi, said local residents.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on July 5, after an extraordinary congress of the "Amtsakhara" Party in Sukhumi, supporters of the opposition went out to a rally that ended with an attempt to storm the building of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA). The protesters demanded resignation of Leonid Dzapshba, the head of the MIA, and transfer of the referendum on early election of the head of the republic, scheduled for July 10.

Rustam Lomia, a resident of Sukhumi, has noted, in his conversation with the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent, that "ordinary residents of Abkhazia do not support protest actions, because they are organized in the midst of the resort season." "We are happy that for the first time since the Soviet era, Abkhazia has so many tourists. Yesterday, on July 5, they began leaving Sukhumi for Sochi en masse," Rustam Lomia told the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent.

After the riots, many hotel guests in Abkhazia began refusing from further stay and leaving the republic, Avtandil Gartskiya, the Minister of Resorts and Tourism of Abkhazia, has stated today.

"Tourists pack their bags and go away," Mr Gartskiya has reported.

"This situation is ridiculous and stupid at the same time, from the point of view that no one has thrust a knife into our back; we managed to do it ourselves," the "Sputnik Abkhazia" News Agency quotes the Minister as saying.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

Author: Anna Gritsevich; Source: CK correspondent

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