According to Self-Declared Republic of Abkhazia Security Council Secretary Samba, the controversial Russian naval base being built in Ochamchire will be at least partially operational in 2024.
In December, Ukrainian intelligence services broke the story through satellite imagery that a new naval base was being built there.
The Georgian government submitted a complaint to the United Nations when the news became public, threatening that if Russian ships deployed from, what they consider to be Georgian territory, Georgia could become party to the war in Ukraine.
The Abkhazia government confirmed to Russian state-owned media that the project may be operational this year:
“Construction work in Ochamchira Bay, where the permanent base for ships of the Russian Navy will be located, is not yet underway; at this stage it is being designed. But its operation may begin this year, although the exact time of the launch can be called, and what exactly will happen It’s difficult for me to be at the point. This will be a base point, so it’s spelled out in the agreement.
Russia has undertaken obligations to ensure the security of Abkhazia, and we see how they are being fulfilled; since 2008, we have had no incidents with the seizure of ships at sea, the situation in the border area is calm. Within the framework of the agreement, the Abkhaz side also has obligations. And we also implement them.”
The Abkhazia government has already transferred several state-owned buildings and dachas to the Russian government at this base. However, the Georgian government has estimated that it would take three years for the base to be able to support major surface combatants.