MOSCOW, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday visited the Georgian breakaway region of Abkhazia and assured it of Moscow's continued military support to guarantee security and independence, the Kremlin press service said.
"In general, we have things to discuss. The bottom line is that we have very special relations with Abkhazia. We reliably guarantee its security and independence. I am sure this will continue," Putin said during a meeting with the leader of the Republic of Abkhazia Raul Khadjimba.
Putin promised to continue joint work to beef up Abhkazia's defense capabilities and make sure that both citizens and tourists in the republic could feel "reliable protection."
For his part, Khadjimba said Abkhazia with Russia's support is making progress in socioeconomic development and infrastructure construction, and resolving defense and security issues.
He said the amount of funds for investment programs, which are supported by Russian banks, will exceed 2.5 billion rubles (41.83 million U.S. dollars) this year.
Following the meeting, an agreement on mandatory health insurance will be signed, according to the Kremlin.
Putin's visit has drawn furious reaction from Georgia, with its foreign ministry saying such a visit represented a continuation of Moscow's "deliberate policy against Georgia."
In the early 1990s, Abkhazia and another Georgian region, South Ossetia, declared their independence from Georgia, which Russia recognized in 2008 despite Georgia's objection.
Georgia cut diplomatic ties with Russia after a brief armed conflict in August 2008.