Foreign Minister Inal Ardzinba Relieved of Duty

Inal Ardzinba was at the helm of the Ministry since 17 November 2021.

Inal Ardzinba was at the helm of the Ministry since 17 November 2021.

SUKHUM / AQW'A ―  President Aslan Bzhania has officially dismissed Inal Ardzinba from his position as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, effective immediately, according to a presidential decree dated 7 May 2024. Deputy Minister Irakliy Tuzhba is set to assume the role on an interim basis.

Inal Ardzinba, who had been at the helm of the Ministry since 17 November 2021, was known for his sharp criticism of international bodies and major global players including the U.S. State Department, USAID, and the European Union, which he referred to as "agents of aggressive isolation" against Abkhazia. Under his leadership, the Ministry halted new projects under the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and ceased issuing necessary implementation certifications, marking a significant shift in foreign policy.

Additionally, several Western officials, such as John Pennell, head of the USAID mission in the South Caucasus, and Toivo Klaar, the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and and Co-chair of the Geneva Discussions, were denied entry into Abkhazia, further straining international relations. NGO representatives have expressed concerns that these decisions have led to increased isolation for the region.

The decree from President Bzhania did not specify the reasons for Ardzinba’s removal, but it comes amidst heightened scrutiny over Abkhazia's diplomatic strategies and its impacts on international cooperation.




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