Inal Ardzinba resignation: voluntary departure or Bzhania’s decision?

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Abkhazian foreign minister resignation details

Details have emerged regarding the dismissal of Inal Ardzinba from the position of foreign minister of Abkhazia, who had established himself as one of the most scandalous and unpopular officials in society.

In particular, it is reported that a week before president Aslan Bzhania signed the decree dismissing Ardzinba, the president personally ordered (to the now former minister) a ban on leaving the republic. However, one day before the official resignation, Inal Ardzinba was eventually allowed to fly to Moscow.

On the morning of May 7, Ardzinba made a statement in which he provided his version of the resignation. According to him, it was voluntary:

I submitted my resignation due to a transition to a new job. This was a planned decision. Currently, I am in Moscow.

I want to express sincere gratitude to everyone with whom we achieved results. A lot of work has been done.

Ahead lie even more important tasks for the benefit of the Republic of Abkhazia and our people. We will take a step towards the future, a step towards progress.”

Ardzinba did not specify the nature of the new job. It is possible that he is referring to the Russian Channel One, where Ardzinba debuted as the host of the new television project “Global Politics” since early April.

However, according to JAMnews’ source within government circles, Inal Ardzinba did not leave the position of minister voluntarily, and the question of his resignation had long been on the agenda:

Due to his difficult character, Ardzinba spoiled relations with many of his colleagues in the government, spoke unfavorably not only about them but also about the Russian ambassador in Abkhazia, Mikhail Shurgalin, avoided deputies who had repeatedly invited him to report on his work in parliament. The president eventually lost patience and dismissed Inal Ardzinba.”

Before heading the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Abkhazia, Inal Ardzinba worked in the Russian President’s Office for Socio-Economic Cooperation with CIS Member States, where he oversaw the Ukrainian direction.

After leaving there, Ardzinba assumed the position of Chairman of the Youth Affairs Council under the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, but he held this position for no more than a year.

In November 2021, by the decree of president Aslan Bzhania, Inal Ardzinba was appointed minister of foreign affairs of Abkhazia.

Now, following Ardzinba’s resignation, the president has issued a decree appointing Irakli Tuzhba, who previously held the position of deputy minister, as the acting minister.

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