Engaging with unrecognised de facto states

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
Interesting read here: Uncertain Ground: Engaging With Europe’s De Facto States and Breakaway Territories

Also, this PDF: https://carnegieendowment.org/files/deWaal_UncertainGround_final.pdf

And also listen to presentation from the author here:
https://soundcloud.com/carnegie-endowment%2Fthe-challenges-of-engaging-europes-breakaway-states The Challenges of Engaging Europe’s Breakaway States

They specifically discuss three examples: Transnistria, Northern Cyprus, and my own homeland, Abkhazia.

Transnistria is better off, in some ways because, as they say, there is some progress with re-integration with Moldova and with Europe, with Russia's consent. But, in Cyprus and in Abkhazia, Turkey and Russia respectively do not allow much outside interference, at least not such that would challenge their dominance and control there, basically.

However, the Western world has some blame there too. These people at Carnegie say what I've already been saying, specifically with regards to Abkhazia, which I know well: this idiotic pandering to Georgia by many Western government, and resulting isolation of Abkhazia from Europe and the West only entrenches it in Russia's orbit, period.

Just today, Russian news show, about how farmers in Abkhazia are celebrating an unprecedented high harvest of mandarins, just in time for New Year holiday season in Russia

Cars full of mandarins are now heading across the nominal border, for markets in Russia

Mandarins are an important holiday staple in Russia, not sure where that custom comes from, but, that's the way it is

and Abkhazia is the one place in pretty much anywhere in ex-USSR, where they are grown :)

If Abkhazia, tiny as it is, can supply all of Russia with mandarins, think about what other potential they have!

Abkhazia is such a beautiful place, otherwise, mountains, beaches
But most Western people will never get to see it :(

Western politicians think all that keeps Abkhazia apart from Georgia are the Russians. But they are ignorant.

They do not understand Caucasian culture. Transnistria is working better, even that Carnegie report notes, because there enduring people to people relations, across the border, between those in Transnistria and Moldova proper. One can observe similar in Ukraine, in Crimea, etc.

But those are Slavs (and Romanians, in case of Moldova). They are less passionate, more pragmatic people.

Abkhazia and Georgia, this is Caucasus. Caucasians specialise in holding grudges. There are, as I mentioned before, blood feuds between rival clans in many Caucasian nations, going back generations...

And this conflict does not go back generations, just to the 90s.

Abkhazians remember, fighting for their flag back then

Plenty of people there live in bullet scarred, still, buildings, to remind them of those days

Pretty much every family in Abkhazia, a nation of 250,000 or so souls, has martyrs from that war, there is a whole wall of their portraits in Sukhum

And they always expect the Georgians to try to attack again, if Russia ever weakens or loses interest in protecting them, etc. They always want to be ready, if he Georgians ever come at them again...

Just listen to the old man in this video
He had fought in the 90s, and galdly jumped into it again, when his old friends called him to join the in 2008, when Russian and Abkhaz forces launched a joint offensive into then-Georgian controlled Kodori Valley, to open a second front on the Georgians after they attacked Ossetia: Battle of the Kodori Valley - Wikipedia

And, despite his age, he says he would happily fight the Georgians again, any time, as long as he lives, basically...

That's how most people there are, my own family too...

Abkhazians are fiercely patriotic, their flag is everything to them

Abkhazia will NEVER go back into Georgia, no matter how much America or Europe may want it.

I recall, can't find it now, but read, some time ago, an article from Estonia, I think, some local guy, supposed expert, talking to an American reporter, I think. And he said something along the lines that, back in 2008, the Russians chose not to storm the Georgian capital Tbilisi, because they know "the Georgians are crazy" and would defend their capital to the death.

Well, how does he think the Abkhazians are?

The Abkhazians BURIED the "crazy" Georgians back in the 90s, chased them out of Kodori with tails between their fucking legs in '08, and will kick their ass again if necessary, and again, and again, as many times as it takes for the reality to sink in

Abkhazia ain't Georgia.


America is now arming up Georgia, God knows what for
US anti-tank Javelin missiles already in Georgia
Georgia to receive Stinger air defense system from US

All this shows people in Abkhazia, is that America is an enemy who does not want peace.

This is NOT how to drive these people from the influence of Putin. Russia is now their one powerful defender, they have, again, thanks to EU and US, nobody else to turn to.

But, FWIW, Russia is NOT the only one who recognises Abkhazia.

Abkhazia also hosts the embassies of Venezuela

and Nicaragua

and recently established diplomatic relations with the Assad government in Syria too

and some Pacific island nations also recognise it, in turn for generous Russian loans and such lol

So, it is actually a "partially recognised", rather than totally "unrecognised" country :)

I also know that, despite official non-recognition, there are considerable and growing business relations with Turkey, serious investment, especially from Turkey's own ethnic Abkhaz diaspora

I can only hope for more progress for them in future...