Key Persons

Zalina Kobesova

Trade Representative of the Russian Federation in Abkhazia

General Biographical Information

  • On May 2, 2017, by a decree of the President of Russia, Zalina Kobesova was assigned the 3rd class Active State Councillor of the Russian Federation.

Professional Career

  • On December 5, 2017, in Moscow, in the rank of the Deputy Director of the International Department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, she participated in the III Congress of Railway Builders.
  • On February 17, 2018, as the Deputy Director of the Department, she participated in the regular 16th meeting of the Intergovernmental Russian-Serbian Committee on Trade, Economic and Scientific-Technical Cooperation.
  • In 2021, Zalina Kobesova was appointed as the Deputy Head of the Trade Representative of the Russian Federation in Belarus. During her work in Belarus, she actively participated in the activities of the trade representative office.
  • On April 2, 2021, at an online conference, she spoke on the issue of trade turnover between Belarus and Crimea occupied by Russia.
  • On August 19, 2021, she participated in a working meeting, which was held at the Republican Center for Hydrometeorology, Radioactive Contamination Control and Environmental Monitoring.
  • On April 19, 2022, she participated in a video-bridge - Crimea-Armenia-Belarus: ways of mutual cooperation.
  • On June 23, 2022, she participated in a solemn signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation between the Republican Confederation of Entrepreneurship and the All-Russian public organization - Business Russia.

Relations with Abkhazia

  • On August 20, 2022, by a decree of the Prime Minister of Russia, Zalina Kobesova was appointed as the Trade Representative of the Russian Federation in Abkhazia. She replaced Vladimir Nekrasov who held this post since 2017.
  • On September 28, 2022, the “Ambassador” of the Russian Federation in the de facto Republic of Abkhazia, Mikhail Shurgalinintroduced Kobesova, to the de facto Prime Minister, Alexander Ankvab. At the meeting, the parties discussed intercountry trade and economic situation, prospects for cooperation and future projects.
  • According to Zalina Kobesova (Interview with „Sputnik Абхазия“, November 17, 2022), the turnover of goods between Russia and the occupied Abkhazia during the nine months of 2022 in terms of imports amounted to RUB 24 billion and in terms of exports – RUB 4 billion.
  • On January 13, 2023, the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the de facto Republic, Tamila Mertskhulava, met with Kobesova. The parties discussed aspects of bilateral cooperation and further support to the industry.
  • On Janaury 31, 2023, a round table entitled “Economic cooperation. Compatriots and regions of Russia” was held in Sokhumi. The meeting took place at the Moscow House and was attended by Kobesova. The meeting discussed the prospects of partnership between small and medium entrepreneurs of the de facto republic and Russia.
  • On February 15, 2023, Kobesova met with the rector of the „Abkhazia State University“, Aleko Gvaramia. The meeting discussed the prospects of cooperation between the university and the Russian Trade Representation. During the meeting, the parties also talked about the importance of using the university's scientific and intellectual potential in solving bilateral trade and economic issues. The Chairman of the de facto Security Council, Sergey Shamba, also attended the meeting.
  • On August 1, 2023, in an interview with Sputnik, Kobesova spoke about the economic processes in the de facto Republic of Abkhazia and the functioning of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade. According to Kobesova, in addition to finding partners in Russia and the occupied Abkhazia, the Trade Representation also works to unite them. It is important to find investors, although certain barriers impede the process which affects the export and import indicators.
  • On April 4, 2024, in an interview with Sputnik, Kobesova, spoke about the economic processes taking place in the occupied Abkhazia and the progress of economic cooperation with Russia. According to Kobesova, after 2018, trade turnover between the de facto republic and Russia increased by 70%, from RUB 17.9 billion to RUB 35 billion. Kobesova forecasts that taking into account the development of tourism, agriculture and industry in Abkhazia, the positive dynamics will continue in the coming years.
  • On June 13, 2024, in Sokhumi, the Prime Minister of the de facto Republic of Abkhazia, Alexander Ankvab, met with the Russian Deputy Minister of Economic Development, Dmitry Volvach, who supervises the direction of the occupied regions. Members of the Abkhaz-Russian Intergovernmental Commission on Socio-Economic Cooperation and representatives of the Russian Ministries of Economic Development, Energy, Transport, Health, Labor and Education participated in the working meeting as well as the Russian „Ambassador“ to Abkhazia, Mikhail Shurgalin, and Kobesova. The meeting discussed the program of formation of a common social and economic space, and the progress of the investment program promoting the socio-economic development and energy issues.