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Monday, 24 October 2016


Abkhazia got a key from Europe’s door

31.01.2011  |  20:20

12917.jpegSpokesman of the European Council in the South Caucasus Piter Semnebi has visited Abkhaiza. He talked to Prime Minister Sergey Shamba about the situation in the country and refugees that should be returned to Kodorskoye Gorge. Also, European parliamentarian confirmed the decision taken by the interstate union not to recognize the


republic's sovereignty on paper. But in reality, European Union is ready to open its doors tomorrow if need be. Another alarming sign for Georgian authorities: this is how Sukhum and Tskhinval's independence mechanically becomes real.

The world's geopolitical map has been subject to significant changes of late. First worms start eating Georgia's "territorial integrity", while a referendum on Darfur province separation goes on in Sudan and European Union is pondering over the recognition of sovereignty of the Palestine autonomy in the context of 1967. The communiqué of the 14th round of Geneva talks clearly states that until Russian Federation's requirements on recognizing Abkhazia and South Ossetia are not met, no progress in achieving peace in the region is possible.

It is rather surprising how precisely the events reoccur when it comes to recognizing someone's nationhood. First, the world community wrinkle's its nose, criticizing the "separatists" and dwelling on the matter in various instances. But if the international standards do not allow recognizing a state's sovereignty legally, everything happens de facto without much noise.

And now Abkhazia's time has come. For instance, Turkey has long been calling on the republic to set up economic cooperation and stated repeatedly that non-recognition is not an obstacle for developing long-term relations. Of course, the issue of nationhood will remain unsettled for another ten years, at least. Nevertheless, the process in on and it will hardly be stopped no matter how hard Georgia tried to do it. European Union ambassadors arrive to the partially recognized republic more and more often.

"I believe if we take European Union as an object of international relations, its attitude is different from that of some states being its part, as well as from the attitude of the United States of America. Both the USA and the Baltic States have painfully responded to Russia's recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Verbally, they still maintain their defiant attitude voiced by the officials responsible for these states' foreign policy, while the European Council in general is a more flexible association in terms of foreign policy. If European diplomats understand that one should not follow a single direction, then I assume their attitude may change, at least, in respect of settling connections without any recognition. EU understands perfectly that if the situation is not altered, it should give up hope that Russia will ever withdraw its recognition. It turns out in the context of the current situation that only those who either recognize these countries, or just maintain historic connections with them and do reject them enjoy a foreign policy advantage", - expert of Russian Strategic Research Institute Azhdar Kurdov shared his opinion on Abkhazia's prospect with GeorgiaTimes.

As Piter Semnebi confessed, the most delicate is the issue of the refugee status. The European parliamentarian suggests bringing the forced migrants back to the houses in Kodorskoye Gorge. Considering the fact that they are no more than 600-800 people, the situation does not look that hopeless as it is presented by Georgian authorities who are trying to hurt Abkhazia's reputation in the international arena. The leaders of the partially recognized republic are glad to cooperate with anyone who regards Sukhum as an independent unit. Naturally, Georgian is not on the list but the Georgian authorities still have time to recover their attitude.

"I do not think one can make any hurried conclusions if we are talking about the current government. Saakashvili's press-conference at FCC TV channel was accompanied with very harsh statements against Moscow, even in terms of diplomacy. But if we take Georgia as a society, it is experiencing a reevaluation of events of 2008 and conflicts in the Russian-Georgian relationship. I think the need of reconsidering the anti-Russian attitude assumed by the current administration of Georgia will grow with time, and the presence of the politicians who do not feel embarrassed anymore to state the necessity of mending contacts with Russia speak for this need", - our interlocutor believes.

It turns out that Abkhazia is heading towards what is called independence in a civilized society, while the democratic Georgia is heading towards separatism. As is known, democracy is the majority rule, which means that Tbilisi is facing the risk of being abandoned soon.

Ilona Raskolnikova

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