The issue of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgian-russian interstate relations
In this article the authors explore historical and legal grounds of separatist tendencies in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the role of russia in stirring up the confrontation of autonomies with Georgia and influence of these processes on Georgian-russian interstate relations. In the authors’s opinion separatist tendencies in South Ossetia and Abkhazia are of a long-term nature and were shaping through Soviet national policy, the federal system of the USSR, lack of centralized power in Georgia during the period of disintegration of the USSR, dissatisfaction of regions because of Georgia implementing ethnonational policy, active participation of russia in inciting separatist movements.
Over the years, russia has actually interfered in the internal politics of Georgia, explaining this with the concept of «special responsibility». russia’s policy was carried out under the guise of neutrality and peacemaking, which helped for a certain period of time to convince the international community that russia was trying to resolve the conflict.
The rapprochement policy and creation of a system of agreements with self-proclaimed republics is part of Russia’s plan to maintain influence in the South Caucasus region, create obstacles for Georgia on its way to Euro-Atlantic integration, and prevent any US advance in the region. Prospects for conflict resolution in the short term are insignificant, since it is beneficial for russia to delay the frozen state as long as possible. On the other hand, Georgia is unable to solve the issue of the return of Abkhazian and Ossetian autonomies on its own without sufficient military power, economic potential and the support of Western allies, who currently have a war in Ukraine on their agenda. Therefore, the most likely development of events in the region is strategic patience, which over time will most likely benefit only one side of the conflict.