Russian President Vladimir Putin may be about to get another seafront pleasure palace as the Kremlin reportedly tries to take hold of a huge parcel of land in Georgia, the media reported.
Aslan Bzhania, de-facto leader of the breakaway Abkhazia region on the Black Sea, says he has been ordered to hand over a ‘beachside paradise’ near the resort city of Pitsunda by Putin himself.
A 49-year lease has reportedly been signed in secret handing over control of 186 hectares of land, 115 hectares of water, and a nearby military camp to the control of Putin’s Federal Protection Service – sparking protests among locals, the Daily Mail reported.
It is thought Putin will use the site – which houses a summer bolt-hole built by Josef Stalin and frequented by Nikita Khrushchev – to build a new home for himself, after opponents exposed his 1 billion pounds palace located just 200 miles up the coast.
Bzhania told furious locals that he is powerless to refuse the request because his fledgling government cannot survive without the support of Russia’s military – despite it being battered by the war in Ukraine.
“I can say for sure that the Russian Federation can do without this dacha,” he said.
“But can we do without the support of the Russian Federation, its armed forces and its structures that guard our borders here? This is a big question.”
He admitted: “This is a place where our main guest (Putin) comes,” Daily Mail reported.
The 69-year-old Russian president has made at least two visits to the region – one in 2013 and another in 2017.
“There are now new technologies, new security conditions for protected persons. In accordance with this, such work is, of course, needed there,” Bzhania added.
This is seen as an acknowledgment that a new palace will appear on the site of the Soviet-era summer dacha.