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The Abkhazian War in 1992-1993 and Russia's Policy
Abstract.The subject of this research is the policy of the Russian Federation during the period of the Georgian–Abkhazian conflict of 1992-1993. The decisions that were taken by the Russian government regarding the regulation of the military activities in Abkhazia in a certain manner influenced the interactions of Russia with Abkhazia and with Georgia. The author analyzes the characteristic features of the development of the Russian-Abkhazian, as well as Russian-Georgian relations during the indicated period. Particular attention is dedicated to the implementation mechanisms of Russia's moderating activities and its role as the initiator of negotiations directed at a speedy cease-fire in Abkhazia. The methodological basis of this research consists of the principle of historicism and the principle of systematism. In accordance with the principle of historicism, the author examines the process of interaction between the named countries within the framework of specific historical events. The application of this principle has allowed to determine the developmental mechanism of the Russian-Abkhazian relations during the period of the Georgian–Abkhazian conflict of 1992-1993. Acting as an intermediary in the negotiations for a cease-fire in Abkhazia, Russia, as the successor of the USSR, had to keep in consideration such factors as:- adherence to international law;- the influence of the West on the development of the situation in the Caucasus;- stability and security in the Caucasus, the guarantor of which it was;- the centuries-old history of interaction with Abkhazia and Georgia, which in its own way influenced the further development of the relations between these countries.The principle of systematism has allowed the author to identify the issues and analyze the reasons which in their own way had an influence on Russia's policy in the period of the Georgian–Abkhazian conflict as a result of the combination of these aspects.The main conclusion of the undertaken research are the following:- the outcome of the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict for Abkhazia was the recognition of its de facto independence from Georgia, and for Georgia – the failure of the Georgian leadership in its attempts to subjugate Abkhazia and its people;- the status of Russia as a great power did not permit it to remain on the sidelines of this war. In an effort to reconcile the conflicting sides, Russia in its intermediary role directed all of its efforts to secure a speedy end to the bloodshed, holding meetings and consultations with the conflicting parties on the territories of Russia, Abkhazia and Georgia;- different approaches of the executive and legislative authorities concerning the adoption of various measures for the cessation of hostilities in Abkhazia, the geopolitical factor, the possibility of spreading fire outside the territorial limits of Abkhazia, all of this greatly influenced the policy pursued by the Russian leadership during the period of the war and affected the development of the Russian-Abkhazian relations during the period under examination.The novelty of this research is that it allows to reconsider the relations between Russia, Abkhazia and Georgia in the above-stated period of conflict and the causes that influenced the adoption of certain decisions on the passing of time and on the basis of a wide range of sources.In today's world, inter-ethnic conflicts are one of the key issues in international relations. The disintegration of such a powerful state as the USSR, the area of which occupied 1/6 of the Earth's inhabited land, to a significant degree was the cause of the appearance of the inter-ethnic conflicts on the territory of the former Union. Questions regarding how the 15 union republics withdrew from the Soviet Union and how their following development began to take shape will surely be subjected to historical analysis more than once in future studies. The disintegration of the Soviet Union led to the destruction of the political, economic, transportation, energy and other ties and the building of new relations between the newly reformed states and other countries of the world community.The conflict between the Abkhazians and Georgians, whose history dates back to more than a century, after the collapse of the Soviet Union grew into the bloody Georgian-Abkhazian war of 1992-1993. Subsequently, under the auspices of the United Nations, with the participation of observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and under the mediation of Russia, began the negotiation process in Geneva on the peaceful resolution of the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict, which continues to this day.The consequences of this war in many ways began to determine the state of affairs and the role of Russia in Southern Caucasus. Ensuring the national security of the Russian state at its borders is one of its priority tasks. Abkhazia is interested in good neighborly relations with Russia, while Georgia seeks to become part of the North Atlantic Alliance. NATO has already carried out three military exercises on the territory of Georgia and Georgian military cadres are undergoing military training in the United States. The current situation raises concerns in Russia and Abkhazia.Abkhazia is an important buffer zone for Russia, and Russia's policy and the development of Russian-Abkhazian relations during the period of the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict greatly influenced the further development of the relations between the countries involved in the war.
Keywords: policy, Georgian-Abkhazian conflict, intermediary, territorial integrity, negotiations, cessation of military hostilities, international community, Georgia, Abkhazia, Russia
Article was received:18-08-2017
This article written in Russian. You can find full text of article in Russian here .