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Abkhazian passport

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Abkhazian passport

Abkhazian passport
The front cover of a contemporary Abkhazian passport.
Issued by  Abkhazia
Type of document Passport
Purpose Identification
Eligibility requirements Abkhazian citizenship

The Abkhazian passport (Abkhaz: Атәылауаҩшәкәы; Russian: Абха́зский па́спорт) is issued to citizens of the Republic of Abkhazia for the purpose of international travel and for the purpose of legal identification within Abkhazia. As Abkhazia is only recognised by Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru, Vanuatu, and Tuvalu, for other destinations Abkhazians use Russian passports for international travel.

History

Before the introduction of Abkhazian passports, Abkhazia still used Aslan Abashidze to the Abkhazian authorities, although it is not known how or when. People who could not obtain a Soviet passport, for example because they had not yet turned 16 when the Soviet Union disbanded or many of the inhabitants of the Gali District received a 'form no. 9', meant to certify a loss of passport.

The Soviet passports were set to expire in 2008, and so a new passport was needed. The issue of an Abkhazian passport was first discussed towards the end of the nineties.[1] In May of 2000, Justice Minister 2004 Presidential election, but when the second batch arrived it became clear that the passports contained errors and so President Vladislav Ardzinba decided not to distribute them. After Sergei Bagapsh was elected to the presidency he decided not to waste the invested money and to introduce the passports in January 2006 despite the errors. The first passport was issued to former President Ardzinba, and the second passport posthumously to activist and academic Tamara Shakryl, who had been the only victim during the 2004 post-election crisis. President Bagapsh himself was the first person to regularly apply for an Abkhazian passport.[1]

The Abkhazian government said in 2007 that once the distribution of passports was completed, it would be the only legal form of identification within Abkhazia. It was announced that from the beginning of 2008, citizens could no longer receive a Russian pension without an Abkhazian passport.[3] Abkhazian passports will be the only possible form of legitimation for voters in the December 2009 Presidential election.[4]

On 20 October 2009 it was announced that a new passport will be introduced with additional security features, so as to satisfy all international criteria. The new passports will be printed by the Russian state enterprise Goznak. The current design of passports is insufficiently secure for them to be used to cross the border with Russia.[4] Abkhazia said it would start issuing passports to its citizens by the end of June 2010.[5]

Number of people to hold an Abkhazian passport

By February 2007, they had been issued to 33,000 people.[6] This number subsequently rose to 45,000 in April,[7] 53,000 in May,[8] 63,000 in August,[9] 110,000 in July 2008,[10] 141,245 on 12 October 2009,[4] 142,625 on 1 November.[11] and 146,121 on 7 December.[12]

On 7 December 2009, the ethnic break-down of passport holders was as follows:
Nationality Passport holders Percentage
Abkhaz 73,622 50.4
Armenians 32.363 22.1
Russians 17.795 12.2
Georgians 12.156 8.3
Ukrainians 2.430 2.1
Abazins 2.138 1.7
Greeks 1.500 1.0
Other 4.117 2.8
Total 146.121 100.0

Also, of the total number of passport holders, 9910 were under the age of 18, and 5759 lived outside Abkhazia.[12]

Controversy

The issuing of passports in the [13]

The Abkhazian government has declared that as of 12 October 2009, 3522 residents of the Gali District had acquired an Abkhazian passport.[4] In April 2013, Head of the Interior Ministry's Passport and Visa Service Beslan Bigvava declared that 16,096 Georgians had received an Abkhazian passport in Gali District, 6217 in Ochamchira District and 2453 in Tquarchal District.[14][15]

Design

The cover of the Abkhazian passport is dark green, it displays the coat of arms of Abkhazia with above it the short name of the country (Abkhazia) and below the word 'passport', both in Abkhaz and in Russian.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Melkosian, Ardavadz (28 October 2007). Паспортизация Абхазии – караван идет медленно (in Russian). New Caucasus. Retrieved 22 November 2009. 
  2. ^ "Daily News May 11, 2000".  
  3. ^ "С начала 2008 года пенсионерам для получения абхазской пенсии необходимо будет иметь паспорт гражданина Абхазии – Минсоцзащиты". Администрация Президента Республики Абхазия. 2007-11-16. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  4. ^ a b c d Kuchuberia, Anzhela (2009-10-20). В Абхазии будут введены новые загранпаспорта (in Russian). Caucasian Knot. Retrieved 2009-10-21. 
  5. ^ http://www.abkhaziagov.org/en/news/detail.php?ID=32014
  6. ^ "Ежемесячно до ста человек обращаются с просьбой о получении абхазского гражданства – Президент". Администрация Президента Республики Абхазия. 2007-02-24. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  7. ^ "Начало паспортизации — важный успех третьего созыва Парламента, говорится в итоговом докладе". Администрация Президента Республики Абхазия. 2007-03-14. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  8. ^ "К концу 2007 года 90 процентов граждан Абхазии должны получить национальные паспорта — Президент". Администрация Президента Республики Абхазия. 2007-05-29. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  9. ^ "Темпы выдачи паспортов гражданина Абхазии летом несколько снизились – МВД". Администрация Президента Республики Абхазия. 2007-08-20. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  10. ^ "В Абхазии уже выдано около 110 тыс. паспортов гражданина РА". Администрация Президента Республики Абхазия. 2007-07-28. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  11. ^ Kuchuberia, Anzhela (2009-11-09). Кандидатам в президенты и вице-президенты Абхазии вручили удостоверения (in Russian). Caucasian Knot. Retrieved 2009-11-10. 
  12. ^ a b Выпуск №587-588 (in Russian).  
  13. ^ "Премьер-министр Абхазии Александр Анкваб принял посла Великобритании в Грузии Дэниса Кифа". 2008-04-25. Retrieved 2008-11-21. 
  14. ^ "С 2008 года по настоящее время паспорта гражданина Абхазии получили 16 тысяч жителей Гальского района".  
  15. ^ "Большей части грузинского населения предоставлено гражданство Абхазии в нарушение закона «О гражданстве», считает оппозиционная партия ФНЕА".  
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