The Washington Times: a rostrum for Bagapsh16.10.2009 | 17:43
President of the newly established state Sergey Bagapsh revealed Abkhazia's ambitions in his interview to American periodical The Washington Times. Does his assuredness that his country will finally be recognized have any grounds? It looks like it does. The more so that Georgia has already realized it has got no influence over Sukhum and the people of the republic.
"Abkhazia is going to win": this was the title for Sergey Bagapsh's speech about the future of his republic published by The Washington Times. According to him, sooner or later it will be recognized by the majority of the world countries, Inopressa reports.
Bagapsh explains to the American readers that Georgia's claims of the neighboring territories are mostly based upon the ultra-nationalism ideas and Stalin's decision to impose a union with Georgia upon the Abkhazians in 1931.
"As the history goes, the struggle for one's independence is never justified in the eyes of the opposite party", - the author commented upon Tbilisi's position. In the opinion of Bagapsh, its foreign "supporters" follow the principle of "the worse for Russia, the better for them", which has been working since the Cold War times.
Still, the position of non-recognition forces Sukhum to seek Moscow's help more actively. According to the president, the US and EU are "pushing Abkhazia towards Russia". However, Bagapsh reminds that being a truly independent state, his republic is not going "to enjoy someone's protection" forever and is calling upon the West "to find a peaceful way to go on via joint efforts".
What is the president's assurance based upon? First of all, it is based upon the fact that Abkhazia occupies an advantageous geographic position and is rather rich in natural resources (primarily recreational). The country has also got historical grounds for separating from Georgia, both originating from the Middle Ages and those having emerged in the 90s when the USSR collapsed.
Over fifteen years Abkhazia has been electing its government on its own. The nearest election is scheduled for December 12 of this year.
Both the current president and his rival Raul Khadzhimba who lost the election four years ago are going to run for presidency. Among their competitors are the oppositional businessman Beslan Butba and social scientist Vitaliy Bganba.
Whom will the Abkhazians elect as their leader? http://www.georgiatimes.info/analysis/23144.html It looks like it will be Bagapsh who brought independence. However, the fact is that none of the candidates will be acceptable for Tbilisi, which is very well understood.
"We should have no illusions on the matter: Russians have come to Abkhazia for a long time. Thus, a person who is not Russia-oriented cannot come to power in Abkhaiza. Someone thought Sergey Bagapsh to be "pro-Abkhazian" but this is a shallow approach", - former State Minister of Georgia on Conflict Settlement Georgiy Khaindrava stated to newspaper News Time.
According to the newspaper, five years ago, the "good" Bagapsh in Georgia was matched against his rival in elections, the "bad" Raul Khadzhimba who was represented as "a henchman of the Russian FSS". The citizens of the Galskiy region, who are mostly Georgians, were recommended to vote for Bagapsh.
Perhaps, even now he is the best candidate for most of them. It is notable that the Abkhaz opposition insisted upon suspending the issue of documents to the citizens of the Galskiy region at least until carrying out a thorough legal review of the law on citizenship.
As IA Apsnypress recently stated with reference to Head of Passport and Visa Service of Russian MIA Valeriy Malia, 3522 passports have been issued in Gal by the beginning of October. Now the process is suspended.
However, Tbilisi cannot support a candidate who allowed Abkhazia to be recognized as an independent state by Russia, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
"The Georgian government has got no space for manipulation", stated Head of the Georgian Center of Strategic Studies of the Caucasus Mamuka Areshidze. In his opinion, Tbilisi "is eager to influence the situation but it cannot spoil it by interference".
Well, those are golden words, indeed! During 17 years, Georgia's rough interference into the life of autonomies has been causing inverted effect.
Now everyone knows that Georgia is an aggressive country which should be kept away from. The report of the International Commission for Investigation of the August events has confirmed the groundlessness of the attack against Tskhinval for the sake of "territorial integrity".
There are popular arguments that neither did Russia have any right to bomb Chechnya when it wanted to get separated and that China should not have suppressed the Separatists' protests in Tibet. Still, the modern truth is that a strong state is able to retain the neighboring territories and the people, just as it is able to establish its own order in a territory being hundreds of thousands of kilometers away, like, for example, the US did in Kosovo and Iraq.