Apr 14, 2011

Abkhazia: Accepting EU Resolution As Olive Branch

The de facto Foreign Ministry of the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia has welcomed a recently passed EU parliament resolution that aims to engage “with the societies of breakaway territories,” according to reports.


Below is an article published by Daily News:


The resolution will contribute to the “de-isolation” of Abkhazia and the establishment of direct contacts with the European Union, according to a statement released Wednesday by the Foreign Ministry, the Abkhaz news agency, Apsnipress, reported.
The statement was made in response to a resolution “on the review of the European Neighborhood Policy – Eastern Dimension” passed by the European Parliament on April 7, online news outlet Civil Georgia reported.


The resolution, among other things, calls on the EU's new diplomatic service, the European External Action Service, or EEAS, “to develop more confidence-building measures and programs, including the launching of new missions and public communication strategies and the consideration of pragmatic initiatives and innovative approaches such as informal contacts and consultations with the societies of the breakaway territories, while conserving the EU's non-recognition policy, in order to support civic culture and community dialogue.”
Abkhazia’s Foreign Ministry said the resolution “has a significant importance for [the] planning of future cooperation [between] the Republic of Abkhazia [and] various EU institutions.” 


It said the Abkhaz side took a positive view of the resolution’s messages, which were “based on a measured pragmatic policy of good neighborhood in favor of establishing a dialogue and closer cooperation.” 


In August 2008, tensions between Russia and Georgia escalated into a five-day war. On the night of Aug. 7, 2008, Georgia launched a large-scale military offensive which Russia labeled an attempt to re-conquer the breakaway region of South Ossetia. Georgia claimed it was responding to attacks on its peacekeepers and villages in the region and that Russia was moving non-peacekeeping units into the area. Russian forces claimed they were responding to Georgian aggression to protect local populations in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another breakaway region nearby. The war resulted in the two breakaway regions declaring independence from Georgia and forming Russian-backed, de facto governments that have remained unrecognized by most of the international community.