In-depth Business Intelligence
of US $
is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)
Books on Georgia
Update No: 327 - (26/03/08)
The spillover from Kosovo
Events in the Balkans are having repercussions in the Caucasus. The declaration
of independence by Kosovo on February 17 is of course opposed by Russia, patron
of Serbia. Moscow is considering counter-attacks on what it sees as another
Russia's parliament has urged the government to consider recognizing Georgia's
two separatist regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The move comes as leaders of
those breakaway regions step up their campaigns for recognition in the wake of
the UN-administered province of Kosovo declaring independence from Serbia in
Russia's State Duma adopted a resolution on March 21 calling on the Kremlin to
recognize Georgia's two Moscow-backed separatist regions if Georgia joins NATO.
"If we see Georgia's accelerated entry into NATO, or a military aggression,
then Abkhazia and South Ossetia will unquestionably have the right to
unilaterally declare their independence," Aleksei Ostrovsky, the chairman
of the Duma's Committee for Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Affairs,
told reporters ahead of the vote. "I am sure that if the Georgian
leadership adopts such measures, the Russian Federation will respond adequately
to these measures and will recognize the independence of these republics."
The draft resolution also recommends that Russia open missions in Abkhazia and
South Ossetia, ease border restrictions, and boost economic ties with the
It says that by recognizing Kosovo, the West gave Russia the right to change its
policies on Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
The document, drafted by pro-Kremlin lawmakers, is not binding. But its adoption
is certain to exacerbate fears that Moscow is preparing to recognize the
sovereignty of both provinces, which it has backed diplomatically and
economically since they broke away from the Georgian government in wars in the
Russia has had peacekeeping troops in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, although
Georgia accuses them of favoring the separatist side. Voting in Russia's March 2
presidential election was held in both regions, where most residents have
The two self-declared governments have stepped up their campaign for recognition
since Kosovo's declaration of independence. Separatists insist that their
regions are ethnically distinct from Georgia.
But Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has vowed to bring both provinces
back into the fold, a stance supported by the United States and the European
Russia is firmly opposed to Georgia joining NATO. Some political analysts say
Moscow is using the threat of recognition to deter the alliance from moving
toward granting Georgia membership. Others say Russia will stop short of
recognizing Georgia's breakaway regions for fear this could bolster separatist
movements on its own territory, particularly in Chechnya.
Saakashvili has applied for a NATO Membership Action Plan, the first step on the
road to joining the Western military alliance.
Saakashvili in Washington
Saakashvili went to Washington in mid-March to obtain US backing in the dispute,
which was freely granted.
Georgia after all has backed the US, at a very difficult time for its
administration, right across the planet with Georgian troops in Iraq,
Afghanistan and elsewhere.
The big issue is NATO membership. NATO holds its next summit in Bucharest on
April 2-4. It now looks as if Georgia is on an inside track to be in NATO soon.
Quite how soon remains the question. We shall soon know.