Abkhazia President Expects Int’l Recognition After Kosovo Precedent


Tiraspol Times & Weekly Review, Moldova
By Times staff
Aug 1 2007

The President of Abkhazia says that he expects international
recognition for his country and for Transdniester (officially:
Pridnestrovie) after Kosovo sets the precedent. Sergei Bagapsh asks
for equal treatment under international law and an end to double
standards. Both Abkhazia and Transdniester have stronger legal claims
to independent statehood than Kosovo.

Sergei Bagapsh, president of Abkhazia, anticipates recognition of his
country and of Transdniester after Kosovo sets a precedentSUKHUMI
(Tiraspol Times) – Claims about the so-called "uniqueness" of the
Kosovo case are "unsound" and an impending recognition of Kosovo
independence will accelerate the same process for Abkhazia and other
unrecognized countries, says Sergei Bagapsh, the president of Abkhazia,
in an interview published this week in the Russian press.

" – The fate of Kosovo has been ordained, thus our fate will also be
determined in the nearest future…And if such a decision [recognition]
is taken towards the end of the year, it will untie the hands of other
countries for recognizing Abkhazia, Transdniester, Nagorno Karabakh,
and South Ossetia," said Bagapsh, adding that his region has "even
more historical and legal grounds for independence than Kosovo."

Abkhazia has been ‘de facto’ independent for fifteen years but is
subject to an unresolved territorial claim by neighboring Georgia. In a
parallel case, Transdniester (officially: Pridnestrovie) has been ‘de
facto’ independent for seventeen years, notwithstanding an unresolved
territorial claim by neighboring Moldova.

Historically, Abkhazia was a separate kingdom and not part of
Georgia. It has a language and a people which are distinct from
Georgia. In Soviet times, it was a separate SSR – with a status equal
to Georgia – until dictator Josef Stalin, himself from Georgia,
turned it into a subordinate part of Georgia against the will of
the inhabitants.

In Transdniester’s case, Stalin is also to blame. Historically,
Transdniester has never been part of any independent Moldovan state
at any time in history. From 1924 to 1940, Transdniester was an
autonomous republic with Tiraspol as its capital. Moldova was part
of Romania. In an act of war, Stalin took Moldova from Romania and
added it onto the existing republic, while in the process moving
the capital to Chisinau. In its declaration of independence in 1991,
the new Republic of Moldova denounced this act as illegal.

" – How do you explain the fact that something which is possible for
Kosovo, is impossible for South Ossetia or for Pridnestrovie?" asked
Sergei Bagapsh in an interview with news agency New Region.

" – What are we, another skin-color? Another species?"

Double standards govern int’l relations According to Abkhazia’s
president, it is obvious that double standard govern international
relations in the way different unrecognized states are treated. He
dishes out blame equally to the United States, the European Union
and even Russia.

" – Of course the double standards in big politics influence our
case as well, but Russia’s position was constructive from the very
beginning," Bagapsh said.

He added that while many in Abkhazia were upset that Russia
favored Serbia’s territorial integrity and opposed recognition of
an independent Kosovo, this position of a large country towards a
geo-strategic partner, in this case Serbia, "is understandable."

And now, Bagapsh said, if the international community does not heed
Russia’s objections, Moscow will be able to rightfully say: "We
didn’t want this precedent, but now that you made your decision on
Kosovo recognition in violation of international norms, what hinders
us from recognizing Abkhazia?"

Pointing out another case of double standards – this time by the EU –
Bagapsh also commented on Georgia’s most recent scheme which involves
setting up a puppet phantom-government in South Ossetia, in order to
create the appearance of two parallel administrations in the same
territory. This fictitious government is led Georgia-funded Dmitry
Sanakoyev but has no popular backing or widespread support among the
voters of South Ossetia.

" – But why has Dmitry Sanakoyev been invited to speak in front of
European parliament members, while the true leaders of Abkhazia and
South Ossetia are shunted aside? It reflects poorly on the West,"
says Bagapsh.

" – Neither South Ossetia’s President Kokoity, nor I, nor our
foreign minister have ever appeared in the European parliament. There
everything is so simple: Georgia requested and Sanakoyev was offered
a tribune to speak. And after that, how should we treat Europe and
the US, if they are always just listening to only one side of the
conflict?" he asked. (With information from The Messenger)

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS