BAKU: Sergey Shamba: ‘Our actions can be rather efficient’

Separatist Abkhaz official urges unity of breakaway CIS regions – Azeri daily

Ekho, Baku
5 Feb 05

By N. Aliyev

In an exclusive interview with Ekho, the deputy prime minister and
foreign minister of Abkhazia [Sergey Shamba] said that Nagornyy
Karabakh, Dniester, South Ossetia and Abkhazia have signed an
agreement which will come into force in wartime.

[Correspondent] The situation surrounding the unsettled conflicts in
the CIS (Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Karabakh and Dniester) has become
tenser in the last few months. The authorities of Georgia, Azerbaijan
and Moldova frequently resort to tough rhetoric, threatening to solve
the problem in a military way. Do you believe that a military option
is possible? To what degree do you think it is possible?

[Sergey Shamba] It was precisely their inability to solve the problem
by peaceful political means that caused these conflicts. The fact that
the new leaderships of the aforesaid countries are also continuing
their traditional policies regarding these conflicts confirms once
again that it is impossible to solve them by introducing models that
are unacceptable to Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Karabakh and Dniester,
because these models have become a thing of the past along with
Stalin’s era, which generated these conflicts.

Only mutual recognition can serve as a basis for the dialogue between
the parties because it is impossible to achieve the necessary level of
sincere confidence without it. It is precisely confidence that can
lead to a constructive dialogue. Threats and confrontation facilitate
only the mobilization and alienation of the parties. No military force
is able to solve any of the aforesaid problems. If someone does not
see this, we can recommend that they look around and become convinced
that superpowers are also unable to solve such problems, using force.

When people fight for their victory and independence, no force can
suppress their aspiration, no matter what kind of military power it

[Correspondent] Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Dniester and Karabakh have
been cooperating for many years, coordinating their activities at the
level of “foreign ministers”, etc. But one gets the impression that in
the recent period, representatives of Nagornyy Karabakh have not been
very actively cooperating with Abkhazia, South Ossetia and
Dniester. Is this true?

[Sergey Shamba] This cooperation was formed during our common struggle
for independence. Today mutual support and solidarity are topical as
well. Regrettably, communication problems hamper our close
cooperation. However, we constantly maintain the necessary level of

[Correspondent] What do you think the prospects are for the
international recognition of Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Dniester and

[Sergey Shamba] This issue is first of all linked to the situation
that exists at the moment and constantly changes. Obviously, the
current situation will also change in the future, because it is
impossible to prevent the historic process of the birth, development
and disintegration of a state. These processes are permanent. They are
based on the nature of things.

Our task is to make our states meet the standards that are adopted in
the world, of which we want to be a part. These prospects are similar
to the possible entry of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Moldova into the EU
and NATO. There is a need to achieve a certain level, and recognition
will come, because the process of establishing states cannot be
prevented. This will be against mankind’s historic experience.

[Correspondent] What kind of real assistance can Abkhazia, South
Ossetia, Dniester and Nagornyy Karabakh render each other if
hostilities start on their territories?

[Sergey Shamba] Our countries have an agreement that will come into
force in wartime. I assure you that our actions can be rather
efficient. However, I hope that the lessons of the recent past will
not be forgotten. At least, we will learn from our own mistakes.