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Abkhazia craving for Union State2010-02-17 17:07
At the moment Abkhaz President Sergey Bagapsh is on an official visit to Moscow. The meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is scheduled for today. Bagapsh has already announced Abkhazia's plan to join Russia-Belarus Union State and the Customs Union between Moscow, Minsk and Astana. Will Sukhum's ambitious plans come true?
Now Russia acts as Abkhazia's major strategic partner. Recognition of the republic's independence, agreement on joint border protection, economic projects - all these decisions laid the foundation of cooperation between the countries.
Sukhum is ready to move ahead. Recently Abkhaz President Sergey Bagapsh, now on a visit to Moscow expressed hisa wish to see his country as a member of various international organizations, primarily the Union State and the Customs Union. "The Union State is the first step, - RIA Novosti quotes the Abkhaz leader. - We are closely watching the situation in Ukraine and pursue dialogue with Belarus hoping it would recognize our statehood which will eventually facilitate our entry into the Union State".
As we know, South Ossetia too shared its desire to join Moscow and Minsk last summer. Republic's president Edward Kokoyty underlined that official Tskhinval will seek accession into the Union State.
However the young republics face one serious problem: Belarus keeps postponing recognition. It was expected that the Belarus Parliament would make up its mind last autumn. Three parliamentary delegations paid visits to Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Georgia in order to study the situation personally and inform the supreme legislative body on the state of things in South Caucasus. Nonetheless, right before the New Year official Minsk stated that the decision on recognition of new Transcaucasian republics will be taken at the parliament spring session.
That is why Abkhazia's and South Ossetia's accession greatly depends on Minsk's decision. There is no certainty that the republics will be given a definite answer this spring: Belarus keeps maneuvering between Russia and the European Union, and such a serious step as recognition of independence of new states on Caucasus map may greatly complicate Minsk-Brussels relations.
The Customs Union issue is not simple either. The point is that after August events in 2008 Kazakhstan declared its refusal to recognize Abkhazia's and South Ossetia's independence as well as other new states. "We have official position. Kazakhstan did not recognize Kosovo, neither will it acknowledge independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. We believe the borders are marked, and Kazakhstan will not recognize new states", - the country's PM, Karim Masimov said.
Nonetheless, chances that Abkhazia will fulfill its ambitious plans remain. In a conversation with Georgia Times correspondent Anatoly Lokot, member of the Parliamentary Assembly of Russia-Belarus Union State emphasized that in case the young republic submits a request and takes certain steps its accession to the Union State and the Customs Union is quite probable. "I would like to remind that now there are Armenian, South Ossetian and Abkhazian monitors working at plenary sessions of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union State. That is why all things are possible considering close integration ties", - he added.
Anatoly Lokot also remarked that recognition of the young republic is not an irresolvable issue either. "As for Belarus I can definitely say: recognition decision is mostly connected with issues to be settled between Minsk and Moscow", - the parliamentarian remarked.