Foreign relations of Abkhazia

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The Republic of Abkhazia is a self-proclaimed state recognized only by Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nauru, Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia, and Transnistria. (The first four of these are members of the United Nations, the latter three share similar lack of international recognition.) Abkhazia declared independence from Georgia in 1999,[1] but did not receive recognition from any UN member states until after the 2008 South Ossetia war. One of Abkhazia's main foreign policy goals is searching for further international recognition.[2]

Diplomatic relations[edit]

Foreign relations of Abkhazia
  diplomatic relations and recognition
  diplomatic recognition only
State Date of diplomatic recognition Diplomatic relations established Notes
 Nagorno-Karabakh 17 November 2006
  • On November 17, 2006, Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh recognized each other's independence.
 Nauru 15 December 2009 15 December 2009
  • On December 15, 2009, Nauru became the fourth UN member state to recognize Abkhazia.
 Nicaragua 5 September 2008 10 September 2009

see Abkhazia–Nicaragua relations

  • On September 5, 2008, Nicaragua became the second UN member state to recognize Abkhazia.
 Russia 26 August 2008 9 September 2008

see Abkhazia–Russia relations

  • On August 26, 2008, Russia became the first UN member state to recognize Abkhazia.
 South Ossetia [note 1] [note 1]

see Abkhazia–South Ossetia relations

  • Abkhazia and South Ossetia officially recognised each other's independence.
 Transnistria [note 1] [note 1]

see Abkhazia–Transnistria relations

  • Abkhazia and Transnistria officially recognised each other's independence.
 Venezuela 10 September 2009 12 July 2010

see Abkhazia–Venezuela relations

  • On September 10, 2009, Venezuela became the third UN member state to recognize Abkhazia.

On 9 March 2012 an agreement to allow visa free travel was signed between Tuvalu and Abkhazia.[3]

Unofficial relations with UN member states[edit]

Even though Abkhazia has not been recognized by many states, it has unofficial relations with many UN member states.

Belarus[edit]

According to the Deputy Prime Minister of Abkhazia, Kan Taniya, the Abkhaz relations to Belarus are high on the priority list of Abkhazia;[4] in 1995, Belarus was opposed to the CIS sanctions against Abkhazia.[5] Bilateral relations between Belarus and Georgia were low during the Georgian Presidency of Mikheil Saakashvili, during which Abkhazia was recognised by Russia; in March 2009, President Lukashenka referred to Abkhaz president Sergey Bagapsh as "the President of Abkhazia" in an official statement when the two met Moscow.[6] The two discussed economic cooperation, with Lukashenko stating "much work emerges after gaining independence, we would be happy if Belarus' involvement could help to solve problems in this region."[7] In November 2009, Belarusian lawmakers visited Tbilisi, Sukhumi, and Tskhinvali on simultaneous fact-finding missions to inform a decision on whether to recognise Abkhazia and South Ossetia.[8] Despite these actions and Russian pressure, Belarus never recognised Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Bilateral relations between Belarus and Georgia improved over the same period, and in April 2015 during the Georgian Presidency of Giorgi Margvelashvili, Lukashenko paid his first official visit to Georgia, during which he explicitly noted his support of Georgia’s territorial integrity.[6]

Eritrea[edit]

In June 2014, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Eritrea in the Russian Federation Teklay Minassie Asgedom and Head of the Department of Asia and the Pacific of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Eritrea Kalekristos Zariseney Gebreyezus met with a delegation from Abkhazia.[9]

Syria[edit]

In 2015, the Abkhaz Foreign Minister met Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riad Haddad in Moscow and afterwards said that his government believes Syria will recognize the former Georgian republic of Abkhazia’s independence as a sovereign country in the future;[10] in November 2016, President of Abkhazia Raul Khajimba stressed his country’s support to Syria in its "war against international terrorism".[11] On the same occasion, Khajimba called Syria a "sisterly country".[12] Nonetheless, Abkhazia supports the re-migration of Syrian citizens of Abkhaz decent back into Abkhazia; in the first five years of the Civil War, about 500 Syrians remigrated to Abkhazia.[13][14][15][16][17][18] In December 2015, the Foreign Minister of Abkhazia met with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Syrian Arab Republic in Russia Mr. Riyad Haddad and they discussed the remigration of Syrian citizens of Abkhaz decent;[19] in December 2016, the first match in Freestyle wrestling between national teams Abkhazia and Syria was held in Sukhum.[20] In August 2017, Abkhazia provided humanitarian aid to Syria.[21] Also in August 2017, an Abkhaz delegation led by Abkhaz Foreign Minister Daur Kove went to Damascus and met with Syrian Prime Minister Imad Khamis. Abkhaz products were presented at the Damascus International Fair.[22]

Turkey[edit]

The most cordial of the Abkhaz relations with UN member states without official diplomatic recognition are with Turkey. Turkey does not follow the Georgian embargo rules and the country hosts a large Abkhaz diaspora.

Visa Problems[edit]

Several states which do not recognise Abkhazia routinely refuse visa applications of Abkhazians, even though the application is made in Moscow on the basis of the person's dual Russian citizenship.

  • In October 2006 the American embassy denied a visa to Minister for Foreign Affairs of Abkhazia Sergei Shamba, who was to attend a UN Security Council discussion in New York City on the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia.[23]
  • In February 2009 the Indian embassy denied visas to two Abkhazian women employed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who had been invited by the Jawaharlal Nehru University to attend an international conference. In response, Foreign Minister Shamba sent letters to Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and to the Ambassador of India to Russia, Prabhat Prakash Shukla. The letters protested the very unfriendly attitude towards Abkhazia, pointed out that the applicants’ Russian citizenship had not been taken into account and warned that Abkhazia might respond in kind, denying visas to any future Indian visitors.[24]
  • On 17 March the Spanish embassy in Moscow refused visas for the members of the Abkhazian Futsal team, which was to take part in the first Copa de les Nacions de Futsal in Catalonia.[25]
  • On 13 May 2009, the German embassy in Russia initially denied a visa for a sick Abkhazian 16-year-old boy who was to undergo a complicated operation in a Munich clinic. Foreign Minister of Abkhazia Sergei Shamba said "such actions are out of line with universal humanitarian principles and are a direct violation of Abkhazian residents' rights."[26] However, the next day the German embassy in Moscow issued the visa, stating that the delay was due to the need to coordinate with their consulate in Tbilisi, which normally handles visas.[27]

Relations with other self-declared independent states[edit]

The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic,[citation needed] and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus[28] welcomed Russian recognition of Abkhazia. The militant Palestinian organization Hamas also welcomed the recognition of both Abkhazia and South Ossetia.[29][30][31]

Diplomatic missions[edit]

Offices in Abkhazia[edit]

Abkhazian missions[edit]

Membership in international organizations[edit]

Abkhazia belongs to the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) and Community for Democracy and Human Rights.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d It is unclear whether there is a date on which Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transnistria officially recognised each other or whether they have always done so, and when they established diplomatic relations. Abkhazia and Transnistria signed a Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation on 22 January 1993, South Ossetia and Transnistria a Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation on 12 October 1994 and Abkhazia and South Ossetia a Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation on 19 September 2005.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Regions and territories: Abkhazia". BBC. 2009-05-13. Retrieved 2009-09-11. 
  2. ^ "Abkhazia: Broad International Recognition Priority". 23 January 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  3. ^ "Tiny Tuvalu's Officials In Abkhazia For Visa-Free Deal, Monitoring". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 9 March 2012. Retrieved 3 April 2012. 
  4. ^ "»Wir wären gerne Mitglied der Eurasischen Union«". junge Welt. 9 June 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2016. 
  5. ^ Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization: Yearbook, Leiden/Boston 1997, p. 42.
  6. ^ a b "Bilateral Ties Between Georgia and Belarus Take a New Turn". Jamestown Foundation. 28 April 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2016. 
  7. ^ "Lukashenko Meets Abkhaz Leader". Civil Georgia. 24 March 2009. Retrieved 9 June 2016. 
  8. ^ "Belarusian MPs Visit Tbilisi, Sokhumi, Tskhinvali". Civil Georgia. 18 November 2009. Retrieved 9 June 2016. 
  9. ^ "Eritrean Delegation Visited Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Crimea". TesfaNews. 12 June 2014. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
  10. ^ https://sputniknews.com/politics/201512211032073497-syria-recognize-abkhazia-independence/
  11. ^ http://sana.sy/en/?p=94706
  12. ^ http://syriatimes.sy/index.php/don-t-miss/27869-fighting-terrorism-in-syria-helps-protect-other-world-countries-from-terrorist-threats-abkhazian-president
  13. ^ http://www.eurasianet.org/node/65343
  14. ^ http://www.eurasianet.org/node/68194
  15. ^ http://www.middleeasteye.net/in-depth/features/syria-abkhazia-syrian-woman-s-journey-488703615
  16. ^ http://www.voanews.com/a/syrian_refugees_go-home_to_former_russian_riviera/1642027.html
  17. ^ http://eng.expertclub.ge/portal/cnid__12622/alias__Expertclub/lang__en/tabid__2546/default.aspx
  18. ^ http://instabkhazia.com/aw-on-youtube/230-youtube-id-miys7y-px7o
  19. ^ http://www.apsnypress.info/en/news/meeting-of-foreign-minister-of-abkhazia-with-the-ambassadors-of-syria-and-palestine-was-held-in-mosc/
  20. ^ http://abkhazmoscow.ru/en/deyatelnost/news/detail.php?ELEMENT_ID=3796
  21. ^ http://mfaapsny.org/en/allnews/news/othernews/abkhaziya-okazala-gumanitarnuyu-pomoshch-sirii/
  22. ^ http://mfaapsny.org/en/allnews/news/visits_info/o-vstreche-s-predsedatelem-soveta-ministrov-siriyskoy-arabskoy-respubliki-imadom-khamisom/
  23. ^ "US embassy in Moscow refused visa to head of Abkhazia MFA". Caucasian Knot. 2006-10-14. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  24. ^ Kuchuberia, Anjela (2009-02-26). Посольство Индии в Москве отказало в визах сотрудницам МИД Абхазии. Caucasian Knot (in Russian). Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  25. ^ Kuchuberia, Angela (2009-04-04). "Abkhazian athletes rejected visas by Spanish embassy in Moscow". Caucasian Knot. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  26. ^ "German embassy in Russia denies ill Abkhazian teen visa - ministry". RIA Novosti. 2009-05-13. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  27. ^ "Germany issues visa to seriously ill Abkhazian teenager". RIA Novosti. 2009-05-15. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  28. ^ "Talat voices respect for will of peoples of S. Ossetia and Abkhazia". Today's Zaman. 2008-08-28. Retrieved 2008-08-28. 
  29. ^ ХАМАС приветствует признание независимости Абхазии и Южной Осетии (in Russian). Gazeta.ru. 2008-08-26. Retrieved 2008-08-26. 
  30. ^ "Only Palestine's Hamas Backs Kremlin's Recognition of Abkhazia, South Ossetia". Georgian Daily. 2008-08-27. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  31. ^ Coughlin, Con; Blomfield, Adrian (2008-08-27). "Georgia: Europe unites to condemn Kremlin". London: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 

External links[edit]