Abkhazia urgently needs a proper economic program which will help overcome the crisis" />

Op-ed: Syria recognized Abkhazia out of gratitude towards Russia. How will this help Abkhazia to develop?

Abkhazia urgently needs a proper economic program which will help overcome the crisis

A ‘tree of wishes’ in Abkhazia. Photo: Sergey Demyanov

Abkhazia is in a good mood after Syria recognized its statehood. With all due respect to our diplomats, it is clear that this step by Damascus is a sign of its gratitude towards Russia.

Nevertheless, one more state has established diplomatic relations with Abkhazia.

The joy, of course, is not the same as it was in August 2008, when exactly the same action Damascus carried out  was now done by Moscow. Then, from the suddenly pouring emotions, there was a feeling of all-Abkhaz happiness: everyone was drowning in champagne for a few days, and all the ammunition found among the population was fired into the air from all kinds of weapons.

However, the joy was short-lived as reality set in; a romanticised idea that the rest of the world would recognize us after Russia’s dissolution into a dry and ruthless calculator of geopolitical conjuncture.

No one is interested in the degree of our solvency as a state. It is important who of the worlds mightiest drops a word in your favor.

Look at Kosovo, which at the time of recognition did not even have its own emblem or flag, and where there was just a criminal business instead of the economy, from covering up drug trafficking throughout Europe to the trade of stolen cars. Their patron was the United States. As a result, in a few months almost a hundred states recognized this country as equal to them.

With Abkhazia and South Ossetia it was not as ‘loud’. Russia’s current capabilities are not comparable with those of the Soviet Union, especially with those of Washington. In ten years, Syria is only the seventh country to recognize Abkhazia. And before, half of the world was under Moscow.

Now, President Putin tries to restore the lost greatness of Russia, bit by bit, and it takes long and is expensive. Saved from total chaos, Syria and Bashar Assad thanked Moscow as best they could. Georgia, of course, demonstratively tears diplomatic relations with Syria in anger, but who listens to it? It is a player of another team.

No one knows how long it will take for Sukhum to see the next recognition. Maybe a year – Iran, for example, is now trumped by the efforts of Trump. Or maybe ten years. In this geopolitical game, very little depends on us, the Abkhaz. On the other hand, what kind of country we will have depends on us only.

The day before the recognition, on Monday the 28th of May, there was an urgent announcement that an expanded government meeting will be held on Tuesday the 29th of May in which the heads of all branches of government – parliamentarians, judges, heads of district units, as well as leaders of all political and public organizations were supposed to take part. The agenda was kept secret.

I naively thought that this government finally decided to get away from the vicious practice of unprogrammed governance of the country, and intended to voice its plan to bring the country out of a difficult economic situation.

But it turned out that the officially dressed elite went there because they expected recognition from Syria.

After the announcement of the news, an audience gathered enthusiastically and congratulated each other, supporting it with loud praises to Putin, Assad and our authorities. And then everyone dispersed somewhat quietly, with a sense of accomplishment of course.

After all, Syria has recognized us. But when will we recognize ourselves?

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