Thursday, August 21, 2008

Expert: Process of recognizing Abkhazia and South Ossetia will take a long time

Эксперт: Процесс признания Абхазии и Южной Осетии не будет скоротечным

When it comes to the issue of recognizing the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has the last word. Vadim Mukhanov, senior researcher at the Foreign Ministry's Caucasus Research Center at the Moscow State Institute for International Relations, made the comment in an August 21st interview with an IA Regnum correspondent.

"The appeals from Abkhazian and South Ossetian leaders Sergey Bagapsh and Eduard Kokoity to the executive and legislative branches of the Russian government are perfectly understandable. It is already clear to everyone that the people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia cannot live in constant fear of Georgian aggression and bloody annexation to Georgia. The people of both unrecognized republics have long looked to Russia; their leaders have repeatedly asked Russian for recognition, even asking for these territories to be annexed to Russia," noted Mukhanov.

According to the expert, in the nineties, if such an issue ever made it to the Russian elite, it would never have been considered. "Now the situation has changed fundamentally. After the Georgian attacks on South Ossetian territory, Russia doesn't have a choice whether or not to support its own neighbors. It is very likely that in the near future there will be an active process of recognition at the State Duma and the Council of the Federation. However, of course, the last word belongs to Russian President Medvedev," said the political scientist.

In his opinioin, it would be premature to say that Russia, in the near future, will unequivocally recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent players in the world arena. "The recognition of a new state is a long process. Kosovo, for example, shows that it isn't a matter of one or two years. Accordingly, as I see it, the process will be greatly accelerated; however, it won't happen in a matter of weeks, as some people are saying today. I believe it will take much longer," concluded Vadim Mukhanov.

IA Regnum

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