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MARCH 2012

Moscow abolished "independence" of Abkhazia

posted by eagle on March, 2012 as Abkhazia

Moscow abolished "independence" of Abkhazia
19/03/2012 10:54
Irakli Tskitishvili
Experts' club

A new position - special representative of President of Russia in Abkhazia has emerged simultaneously in Russia and Abkhazia. In political vocabulary of the 19th century such post was called "viceroy" while in modern it is called "governor." On March 16, 2012 governor of the Krasnodar Territory Alexander Tkachev was appointed on this post. He will work on both these two positions.

Appointment of Tkachev was not accompanied by "instructions" - functional responsibilities that he will be given in relations to Abkhazia, "independence" of which Moscow recognized in 2008 after yet another invasion of Georgia and another ethnic cleansing in other occupied region - Tskhinvali. Therefore, analysts will have to make an effort to learn a true purpose of this appointment. The more so that "Russian ambassador" Semyon Grigoryev is already working in Abkhazia.

We should note legal nonsense of this appointment - the president of one state appoints a special representative in another state (at least, Abkhazia is considered as such at the official level). Abkhazians who were shocked by this information, asked a reasonable question whether the Russian President had a special representative in the U.S.? But Abkhazia is not the United States. And it looks like that "independent free state of Abkhazia" was abolished and made into a Russian province.

Appointment of Tkachev is surely connected to the upcoming Olympic Games scheduled for 2014. There are only two years to go, and Russia should make all efforts to organize everything at a proper level, and at that to use this event to achieve certain strategic goals on the occupied territory.

Why Medvedev needed to appoint a governor when he already had an "ambassador" who could deliver orders of the Russian president to the Abkhazian authorities? And why Tkachev?

Alexander Tkachev is Putin’s man. With coming of VVP to the Kremlin he wanted his people in the region where the Olympics are scheduled. After all, the Olympics can quite possible be considered as "Putin’s creation". In addition, Tkachev is well known in Abkhazia. Better yet, they know what he is very good at - peripetia of the election in 2004 in Abkhazia is not yet forgotten. And for those who have forgotten, let us remind that after Abkhazians did not agree to elect Raul Khajimba - a candidate for "president" imposed by Putin and voted for Sergei Bagapsh, through Tkachev Putin introduced a tough blockade. During this period, Abkhazians for the only time on the course of their "independence" felt all "delights” of the blockade and Russia's attitude towards them. Therefore, Tkachev is not alien to methods of force pressure on Abkhazia. And this fact is more interesting in the light of the fact that the current leader of Abkhazia Alexander Ankvab is successor of the Bagapsh’s cause and a former member of his team.

As opposed to "Ambassador" Grigoriev, who in his functions is a diplomat, and his activities are limited with strictly-defined framework, the law for Tkachev are only Putin’s words. Nothing else restricts him. This means that he will be bringing home the Kremlin's position to Abkhazian leaders (who, incidentally, are citizens of the very Russia and personally elected Putin on the post of the president) through any means. First of all, because little time is left till the Olympics, work must be done, and Moscow does not have time to waste on all sorts of Abkhazian political games. And, secondly - Tkachev can bring home the message firmly and clearly. And we should not forget about Tkachev’s experience of solving territorial issues, when he intended to add Adygea to the Krasnodar region, though he failed to fulfil this task to the end. Ankvab, in this situation, will only have to look for explanations to give to his people over all those decisions that will be made under pressure "from above".

At the official level, Russia does not cancel the recognition of Abkhazia's independence. It means that the "embassy" of Grigoryev will continue to operate. First of all, it will save Russia from further problems on the international arena. And, secondly, it would allow Russia to continue speculaitons about "independence" of Abkhazia. And Tkachev too, when commenting on his appointment, said that he "as a citizen of the Russian Federation and honorary citizen of Abkhazia" is ready to do everything so that "our countries become closer to each other." That is, at this stage Moscow will not deprive Abkhazia of the status of "country".

Clearly, by appointing Tkachev as "supervisor" of Abkhazia, Moscow accelerates the process of integration of the occupied region into the Krasnodar Territory. Such plans have long been nurtured. Before, it has been repeatedly reported that by the time of the Olympic Games the Russian border might be moved to Pitsunda. Afterwards, this was many times refuted and again confirmed. But in the light of greater integration into the Krasnodar Territory this question will gradually lose relevance. The border on the Psou, presumably, will become increasingly unimportant and Russian business in the first place, and Russians after it will increasingly expand their presence in Abkhazia. In this process some cornerstones of the Russian-Abkhazian relations - the issue of the village of Aibga, which will appear entirely in the hands of Russian business, which means the Kremlin, and of course the issue of Abkhazian resorts - will disappear.

In the next few years, Moscow will try to "give baloney" to Abkhazians about the fact that the appointment of Tkachev as the special representative of Russian President in Abkhazia does not mean reducing the status of "independence" of Abkhazia, that this is done entirely in the interests of the Abkhazian and Russian people and rapprochement of the two "states", that the Olympics will benefit both Russia and Abkhazia. And, unfortunately, most people on the occupied territory will believe in all this nonsense. And those who clearly understand what is going on will "keep mum". But those who will create problems to Russia's interests will be reminded that one should not "bare rotten teeth at the power ".

And one more thing – watching behaviour of the active part of Abkhazian society in the global network one unwittingly comes to a conclusion that they all still live in fear. And this fear is caused by various factors. Some are afraid of Georgians, some - Russian security services, some - of their own compatriots. On one hand, they are willing to state their position on one issue or another, on the other hand - they quickly remove it, otherwise, God forbid, someone may see it. Living in fear has become normal state of Abkhazian society. As time passes, the situation changes, but reasons to be afraid do not become less. And the more Moscow extends its paws into Abkhazia, the more that fear will intensify. Fear of one that just yesterday was considered to be a friend and hourly is becoming the most hated enemy. And fear even to admit all this. And at that time a saying comes to mind - "waiting for death is worse than death itself" and this exactly describes the current state of the Abkhazian society.

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