Thursday, August 21, 2008

Russia could recognize independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia on August 25

25 августа 2008 года Россия, возможно, признает независимость Абхазии и Южной Осетии

On August 25, 2008, Russia could recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, sources in the Caucasus say.

On August 21, the people of Abkhazia at a national rally appealed to Russia, the Federal Assembly and the State Duma, asking that the independence of their republic be recognized. Earlier, a similar request made by the President of Abkhazia was supported by the Abkhazian parliament.

On August 20, deputies of the South Ossetian parliament made their own appeal to the Russian leadership to recognize the independence of South Ossetia. Earlier, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev stated that Russia supports a resolution to the Abkhazian and South Ossetian conflicts which will support the people of the unrecognized republics.

IA Regnum

Tskhinvali residents continue to experience shortage of potable water

Жители Цхинвала продолжают испытывать нехватку питьевой воды

In the South Ossetian capital there are still problems with providing potable water. People can be seen lining up outside shops--the ones which are open--to buy mineral water, reports an IA Regnum correspondent on August 21. Meanwhile, residents are not able to obtain water because of the shortage. Most grocery stores are still closed and those few which are functioning offer a very poor assortment of goods and virtually all the shelves are bare. Pharmacies are experiencing a similar situation.

Efforts are underway in the city to restore power lines. Virtually all parts of the city have power now. The streets have been cleared and sanitation crews continue to clean the city.

Due to a scheduled performance by the Mariinsky Theater Symphonic Orchestra in front of the main government building, South Ossetian authorities have decided to lift the curfew, currently in effect from 21:00 to 08:00.

IA Regnum

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

Nogovitsyn: US continuing double standards

Наговицын: США продолжают политику двойных стандартов

To Anatoliy Nogovitsyn, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, the position of the US when it comes to delivering humanitarian aid to victims of the Georgian-Ossetian conflict is just amazing. As an IA Regnum correspondent reports, Nogovitsyn noted that the US sent humanitarian aid only to Georgia, "even though it was agreed at a meeting with the US Ambassador to Russia that Washington was ready to consider the possibility of sending humanitarian aid to the people of South Ossetia." "They have suffered more. We regard the actions of the US as a continuation of political double standards," said Nogovitsyn.

On August 20th, US President George Bush stated that the US "would continue to support Georgia" and provide Georgia humanitarian aid. According to Bush, Georgia defended freedom in the world, and now it is time for the world to defend freedom in Georgia. The US army will continue to help bring humanitarian aid to victims, he said.

IA Regnum

"Sue Saakashvili": National rally begins in Abkhazian capital

"Саакашвили - под суд": в столице Абхазии начинается всенародный сход

The national rally hasn't begun yet [published 12:19 Moscow], but Freedom Square in Sokhumi is already overflowing with people. They will ask Russia to recognize the independence of the republic. As an IA Regnum correspondent reports, people from all cities and regions of Abkhazia are gathering in the center of Sokhumi. Because of the huge crowds, traffic is at a standstill and it is difficult to get around.

Participants of the rally are holding Abkhazian, Ossetian, and Russian flags. They are also holding up signs reading "Abkhazians and Alans--brothers," "Russian peacekeepers are guarantors of security," "Sue Saakashvili," "The Agressor will be punished," "The Republic of Abkhazia is a sovereign and independent state."

IA Regnum