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The Sokhumi isolationist policy: pros and cons

By Messenger Staff
Monday, September 5
The so-called presidential elections held in Sokhumi were not recognized by Georgia or western countries and organizations. EU, NATO and the USA all considered it a non legitimate exercise, however some analysts consider this as an isolationist policy. They recommend that the West develop relations with Abkhazia. Here the question arises. What are the pros and cons of such a policy?

The Russian invasion in 2008 was very costly for Georgia, which lost two regions. Two Georgian entities, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, became Russian-occupied, and to disguise this occupation Russia recognized them as independent states. The entire international community except for certain marginal countries does not recognize Russia's step. These territories are called "occupied" and from time to time there are statements to "de-occupy" these territories. However nothing more than statements take place. There is no pressure exercised against Russia whatsoever. Georgia is urged to use "strategic tolerance". To cut it short the West presents these issues as "natural developments" saying that probably the time will come when the injustice will right itself.

Three years have passed since the August war and there are various demands appearing on the table. For instance there is an idea that while defending Georgia's interests Western interests would be damaged. This approach was illustrated in a recent article in the New York Times. The idea behind it is that the West should reconsider its unanimous support to Georgia and promote its own interests. It looks like the authors of the article do not understand the reality, that Abkhazia or South Ossetia are not independent at all--their independence is only virtual, and both territories are controlled solely by Moscow. Neither Abkhazia nor South Ossetia would ever dare to promote their drive for independence. There is a definite scenario created by the Kremlin and the puppets are chosen by them to fulfill the demands of Moscow. So any kind of international terminology on isolationist strategies are pure rhetoric, and this should be understood by scholars, analysts, politicians and ordinary people-- that Abkhazia and South Ossetia are just Russian-occupied territories, and potentially will be used against civilized Western interests.

The terminology used by some of the Western analysts concerning refusal to isolate these regions are understood in Moscow as indirect recognition of the independence of these regions. Obviously there would be no breakthrough for restoring geopolitical justice. Recognizing even certain features of democracy in the elections in Abkhazia is ridiculous and a cynical position. How can one notice any democracy when more than three hundred thousand ethnic Georgians were kicked out of this territory without any possibility to return home, say nothing on their rights to vote?. This ethnic cleansing is obviously no contribution to any "democratic elections"-- what kind of democracy could be speculated about where all three presidential candidates hold Russian passports like most of the rest of the Abkhaz population? What kind of democratic elections could be talked about when Abkhazia is stuck with Russian military forces, border forces and blockades from the sea by Russian ships? Any steps taken by the West to establish independent relations with the puppet regime will be censored by Moscow and –practically-- relations with separatist regions of Georgia will be the continuation of the relations with Moscow.

Here arises an interesting notion: The increase of Russian influence in the South Caucasus, and Georgia in particular, is taking place at the expense of decreasing Western influence here. Thus one day an important number of Georgians could become sympathetic towards their northern neighbor. A Georgian saying goes, “When a bear overwhelms you, call him Daddy.”