Abkhazia: two years of free floating27.08.2010 | 13:22
Today, Abkhazia is celebrating the second anniversary of its recognition as an independent republic. No wonder that this year, August 26 is announced a holiday in Apsny. This is a true holiday for the Abkhaz: they have been consistently struggling for their independence for many years. It is also notable that the two years of free floating were rather easy for the country. Sukhum seems to hold its ground in the international arena and the people of the country believe that one day the Abkhaz' right for independence will be globally recognized.
On August 26, 2008, a new page was opened in Abkhazia's history. Having completed the operation on forcing Georgia to peace, Russia recognized the independence of the two Transcaucasian republics. This day had been long waited for in Sukhum.
Many times Apsny repelled the attacks from Georgia, which made four attempts to force Abkhazia into affiliation in the last 20 years. For instance, it took the republic great pains during the 1992-1993 resistance to defeat the stronger enemy and uphold the freedom and the right of choice. At that time, Tbilisi was threatening Sukhum with genocide, but no way. During the battles in September 1993, the resisting powers, which had to confront the aviation and the 12-thousand grouping of the Georgian army, managed to win back the capital of the republic. Since then, the Abkhaz abandoned neither the Galsky region, nor the upper part of Kodorskoye gorge. According to political expert Sergey Markedonov, the proud autonomy turned out to be "a suitcase with no handle" for Georgians: they would like to pick it up but they do not know how.
Today, Abkhazia's independence has been recognized by four world states and the republic expects the list to be gradually expanded. "The unfriendly reaction to Russia's actions on the part of some western countries means that the further way to recognition will not be easy", - Deputy Head of Abkhazian President's Administration for Foreign Policy Vyacheslav Chirikba fairly remarks.
I believe, Abkhazia's prospects currently depend only on the republic itself. If Bagapsh and his associates take the right tack, the recognition and respect towards the Abkhaz on the part of the West will be just a matter of time. There is only one point left - to turn Apsny into a prospering and independent country. GeorgiaTimes correspondent asked Russian political analysts whether Sukhum is going to succeed.
Director General for the National Strategy Council Valery Khomyakov believes that the prospect of the West's recognition of Abkhazia is real but one cannot hope for it to happen in the nearest future. The probability of recognition depends on whether the republic will display independence in the proper sense of the word. "So far, everything is going on well. Unlike South Ossetia, Abkhazia is trying to conduct independent foreign policy, including that in respect of Latin America», - the expert underlined.
Khomyakov believes the transparency of elections to be one of the important criteria of international recognition. The politologist reminded of the complicated political fight during the latest presidential elections in Abkhazia; still, they were open and fair. "The young republic underwent the cycle of delegation of power, unlike Georgia, where presidents were either killed or removed from power by way of revolution, - he stated. - I believe, there will be several electoral periods in Abkhazia and the West will see the development of democratic processes in the country".
Finally, Abkhazia's future will depend on Russia's position to a great extent. "It is very important that Moscow should unambiguously state the provision of political support and economic assistance to Abkhazia and simultaneously stress that it does not interfere into the republic's domestic affairs", - general director of the National Strategy Council underlined.
In the end, Valeriy Khomyakov added that the logics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia's development cannot be compared because of their total difference. "Abkhazia does not see itself as part of the Russian Federation, and it does credit both to the leadership and the people of the republic, - the expert says. - Yes, there will be friendship with Russia, that is not the matter of argue but none of the Abkhaz political powers mentions affiliation with RF. That explains the attempts of conducting independent foreign policy".
On his part, Deputy Director General for the Political Technologies Center Foundation Alexey Makarkin also believes that Abkhazia has got the idea of the desirable way of development, which really does not imply being part of Russia. "It implies a union with Russia as an independent state, - Makarkin asserts. - I think Abkhazia would like to become the prototype of Montenegro, a resort country with the highly developed tourist sector. Of course, there is much work here but the direction vector has been chosen correctly. In this aspect, Abkhazia is much in advance of South Ossetia".