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The political tide is turning, says puppet leader

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, July 2
The position of the United States and the West on Abkhazia is changing, leader of the Abkhaz puppet Government Sergey Baghapsh stated on July 1 in an interview with Abkhazian web portal Apsnypress.

“The United States and the West are no longer trying to reintegrate Abkhazia and South Ossetia with Georgia, they are just seeking to prevent Russia having influence in the region. Despite the fact they say that Abkhazia and South Ossetia should reintegrate, their main efforts are directed to reducing Russian influence on the territories as quickly as possible, however, we chose to accept Russian assistance because as we had a great desire to do so, not due to some narrow situational interests. So American and European policy in this respect will fail,” Baghapsh said.

The puppet leader again underlined that Abkhazia might be recognised by some more states in the near future. "An Abkhaz representation might visit Cuba in the near future, and we are expecting that some countries will recognise our independence after this meeting. We are actively working on this,” Baghapsh stated.

The Georgian Government regards Baghapsh's statements as absurd. "The Unites States and West’s attitude to Georgia has not changed. On the contrary, the United States and the countries of the European Union are showing more and more interest in Georgian issues lately. The Georgian Government is working in three main directions to resolve the problem of the de facto regions. 1. promoting the policy of non-recognition of the regions, which is being done successfully, 2. gaining recognition of them as occupied territories and 3. ensuring their deoccupation. These kinds of statements from Baghapsh demonstrate that he is part of the occupation regime and does not express the viewpoint of the Abkhaz people,” MP Nugzar Tsiklauri stated.

However conflict analyst Malkhaz Chemia has told The Messenger that Baghapsh's statements are sensible, and a sign that the de facto regime is ready for collaboration with Georgia. "Baghapsh has assessed the present situation perfectly. It is true that the United States and the West are mainly concerned with reducing Russia's influence at present, not only in Georgia but the whole Caucasus, and if they do so Russia will be an equal partner for them with whom negotiations on reintegration will be easier than they are now, when Russia is dominant in the region. Baghaph seems to understand that in the near future he will have to sit around the negotiating table with Georgians and sooner or later he will get this order from Russia, as the Georgian authorities are likewise advised to negotiate with the puppet regimes. However, Baghapsh is hinting that he is only ready for negotiations between equals," Chemia said.