Abkhazia–Russia relations

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Abkhazia–Russia relations
Map indicating locations of Abkhazia and Russia

Abkhazia

Russia

Abkhazia–Russia relations (Russian: Российско-абхазские отношения) is the bilateral relationship between the Republic of Abkhazia and the Russian Federation. Russia recognised Abkhazia on 26 August 2008, following the August 2008 South Ossetia war. Abkhazia and Russia established diplomatic relations on 9 September 2008.[1]

Background[edit]

Russian recognition of Abkhazia[edit]

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announcing that he has signed decrees recognising independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia (in Russian) Transcript in English.

On 21 August 2008, the same day as a similar event in South Ossetia, a rally was held in Sukhum at which an estimated 47,000—50,000 people appealled to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and the Russian Federal Assembly for official recognition of their independence as a sovereign state.[2][3] On 25 August 2008 President of Abkhazia Sergei Bagapsh made a presentation to the Federation Council of Russia. In his address to the Council, Bagapsh stated "I can say for certain that Abkhazia and South Ossetia will never be part of Georgia."[4] After hearing the appeals from both the Abkhazian and South Ossetian leadership, on 25 August 2008 the Federation Council and State Duma passed motions calling upon President Medvedev to recognise the independence of the two regions and to establish diplomatic relations with them.[4][5]

On 26 August 2008, President Medvedev signed ukazes recognising the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia[6][7] In his address to the Russian nation, Medvedev noted that he was guided by the provisions of the UN Charter, the 1970 Declaration on the Principles of International Law Governing Friendly Relations Between States, the CSCE Helsinki Final Act of 1975 and other fundamental international instruments in issuing the decree, and further stated, "(t)his is not an easy choice to make, but it represents the only possibility to save human lives."[8] Sergei Bagapsh responded to the Russian recognition by saying "(t)his is the century-long dream of the people of Abkhazia made reality."[9]

The Russian recognition was condemned by the European Union, United States, NATO,[10] Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe,[11] amongst others, with some calling for Russia to rescind its recognition. Many high level Russian politicians including Russian President Dmitry Medvedev,[12] Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Ivanov,[13] Chairman of the State Duma Boris Gryzlov,[11] Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov, Permanent Representative of Russia to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin[14] and Permanent Representative of Russia to NATO Dmitry Rogozin,[10] rejected the criticism, and have stated that Russian recognition of Abkhazia is irreversible. In an interview to Vesti in August 2009, Sergey Lavrov stated that Russian recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia was not planned when the 2008 war began.[15]

As a result of the Russian recognition of Abkhazian and South Ossetian independence, Georgia severed diplomatic relations with Russia on 29 August 2008,[16] and declared that it regards South Ossetia and Abkhazia as occupied territories.[17]

Bilateral relationship[edit]

Diplomatic ties[edit]

Igor Akhba, the first Abkhazian Ambassador to Russia, presents his Letters of Credence to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on 16 January 2009.

Russia and Abkhazia established diplomatic relations at embassy level on 9 September 2008, when Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Abkhaz Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Shamba exchanged notes at the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow.[1]

On 25 September 2008, President Medvedev sign an ukaz appointing the first Russian Ambassador to Abkhazia, Semyon Grigoriyev,[18][19] who presented his Letters of Credence to Abkhaz President Sergei Bagapsh on 16 December 2008.[20][21] Igor Akhba, the Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Republic of Abkhazia to Russia was appointed by Sergei Bagapsh as Abkhazia's first ambassador to Russia on 14 November 2008.[22] Akhba presented his credentials to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on 16 January 2009.[23]

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin issued a directive to set up a Russian embassy in Abkhazia in 2009.[24] On 1 May 2009, Russia's embassy to Abkhazia was opened in Sukhumi.[25]

Russia plans on opening up a trade mission in Abkhazia in order to ease access to the local economy for Russian businesses.[26]

In March 2009, Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh told the Vice President of the International Crisis Group that his republic had no plans to become a part of Russia and that his administration was "building an independent, legal, and democratic state."[27]

List of treaties and agreements[edit]

Signed: Ratified by Abkhazia: Ratified by Russia: Treaty: Notes:
30 April 2009 [28] Cooperation agreement on the protection of state borders
8 May 2012 [29] Agreement on the procedure of the pension schemes for Internal Affairs officials
8 May 2012 [29] Cooperation agreement on disaster prevention and management
12 August 2009 [30] 15 June 2012 [31] Agreement to assist the Republic of Abkhazia in its socio-economic development
17 February 2010 [32] 6 October 2011 [33] Agreement on a joint Russian military base in Abkhazia Valid for 49 years, automatically renewable for 15-year periods
26 April 2011 [31] 15 June 2012 [31] Agreement on the establishment of informatory-cultural centres and the conditions governing their activities
28 May 2012 [34] Agreement on the trade of goods Abolishes import duties on most products, immediately for Russia, from 1 January 2015 onwards for Abkhazia

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Solovyev, Vladimir (10 September 2008). "Freshly Recognized". Kommersant. Retrieved 2009-08-03. 
  2. ^ "Abkhazia, S.Ossetia send sovereignty appeals to Russia". Sukhum: RIA Novosti. 21 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-09. 
  3. ^ "Abkhazia sends request to Russia for recognition". Sukhum: RIA Novosti. 21 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-09. 
  4. ^ a b "Russian upper house seeks independence for Georgian rebel regions". Moscow: RIA Novosti. 25 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-09. 
  5. ^ "Russia parliament asks president to recognise S.Ossetia, Abkhazia". Moscow: RIA Novosti. 25 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-09. 
  6. ^ "Russia recognises Georgia's breakaway republics -2". Moscow: RIA Novosti. 26 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-09. 
  7. ^ The New York Times August 26, 2008: Russia Backs Independence of Georgian Enclaves by Clifford J. Levy
  8. ^ Medvedev, Dmitry (26 August 2008). "Statement by President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev, 26 August 2008". Moscow: President of Russia. Retrieved 2008-09-04. 
  9. ^ "Rebel Georgian regions celebrate their recognition by Russia". Sukhum: RIA Novosti. 27 August 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  10. ^ a b "Russia says recognition of S.Ossetia, Abkhazia irreversible". Brussels: RIA Novosti. 27 August 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  11. ^ a b "Russia stands by recognition of Abkhazia, S.Ossetia — speaker". Moscow: RIA Novosti. 29 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  12. ^ "Medvedev says no going back on South Ossetian recognition". Vladikavkaz: RIA Novosti. 8 August 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-08. 
  13. ^ "Russia to stick to its decision on bases in S.Ossetia, Abkhazia". Munich: RIA Novosti. 8 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  14. ^ Piasecki, Jerry (9 September 2008). "South Ossetia and Abkhazia Independence a Done Deal — Russia's UN Ambassador". United Nations Radio. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  15. ^ "Russia's recognition of Abkhazia, S.Ossetia not planned — Lavrov". Moscow: RIA Novosti. 5 August 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  16. ^ "Georgia breaks off relations with Russia". Tbilisi: The New York Times. 29 August 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  17. ^ "Medvedev praises Sarkozy's role in S. Ossetia ceasefire". Moscow accessdate=2009-08-09: RIA Novosti. 8 August 2009. 
  18. ^ Президент Российской Федерации. Указ №1527 от 25 October 2008 «О назначении Григорьева С.В. Чрезвычайным и Полномочным Послом Российской Федерации в Республике Абхазия». (President of RussiaUkaz #1527 of 25 October 2008 On the appointment of S.V. Grigoriyev as the Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Abkhazia. ).
  19. ^ "Russia appoints ambassadors to South Ossetia & Abkhazia". Russia Today. 24 October 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  20. ^ "Envoys to S. Ossetia, Abkhazia present credentials to presidents". Moscow: RIA Novosti. 16 December 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  21. ^ Президент Сергей Багапш принял Верительную грамоту оТ Чрезвычайного и Полномочного посла Российской Федерации в Республике Абхазия С.В. Григорьева (in Russian). President of Abkhazia. 16 December 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-14. 
  22. ^ "Игорь Ахба назначен Чрезвычайным и Полномочным Послом Абхазии в России". President of Abkhazia. 14 November 2008. Retrieved 13 December 2008. 
  23. ^ Послы иностранных государств, вручившие верительные грамоты Президенту России (in Russian). Presidential Press and Information Office. 16 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-03. 
  24. ^ "Vladimir Putin signed a direction about establishment of Russian embassies in Abkhazia and South Ossetia". REGNUM. 2009-02-11. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  25. ^ Посольство России в Абхазии начало работу на постоянной основе. «Интерфакс» 01 мая 2009 года 23:26
  26. ^ "Russia to open trading mission in Abkhazia.". ITAR-TASS. 2009-02-11. Retrieved 2009-02-12. 
  27. ^ "Abkhazia will remain independent from Russia - Bagapsh". RIA Novosti. 2009-03-17. Archived from the original on 21 March 2009. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  28. ^ "Сегодня Россия подпишет соглашения с Абхазией и Южной Осетией об охране границы". Caucasian Knot. 30 April 2009. Retrieved 18 June 2012. 
  29. ^ a b "Два соглашения ратифицировано и одно принято в первом чтении". Apsnypress. 8 May 2012. Retrieved 8 May 2012. 
  30. ^ Kuchuberia, Anzhela (13 August 2009). "Москва и Сухум подписали соглашение об оказании Абхазии социально-экономической помощи". Caucasian Knot. Retrieved 16 June 2012. 
  31. ^ a b c "Парламент ратифицировал соглашение между правительствами Абхазии и России об оказании помощи РА в социально-экономическом развитии". Apsnypress. 15 June 2012. Retrieved 16 June 2012. 
  32. ^ "Абхазия и Россия подпишут соглашение об объединенной военной базе". Caucasian Knot. 17 February 2000. Retrieved 18 June 2012. 
  33. ^ "Президент России ратифицировал соглашения о базах в Южной Осетии и Абхазии". Caucasian Knot. 6 October 2011. Retrieved 18 June 2012. 
  34. ^ "Подписано соглашение между правительствами Республики Абхазия и Российской Федерации о режиме торговли товарами". Apsnypress. 29 May 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 

External links[edit]