May 10, 2021
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Why Abkhazia and South Ossetia can do what Donbass is not allowed?

Why Abkhazia and South Ossetia can do what Donbass is not allowed?

Photo: Mikhail Tereshchenko / TASS

Head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov stated that an analogy can be drawn between the situation in Donbass and the events in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but there is a major difference between them.

“In Abkhazia and South Ossetia, when the aggression took place Saakashvili to Tskhinval, on the positions of peacekeepers, including Russian ones, there were no agreements that would be similar to the Minsk set of measures, ”he said.

The Foreign Minister recalled that at that time, in 2008, the leaders of Russia and France Dmitry Medvedev and Nicolas Sarkozy only discussed the document, but did not sign it. Sarkozy then flew to Tbilisi to secure support for the document on the part of Saakashvili, but he deleted key provisions from it and only then signed it.

In the case of Donbass, according to Lavrov, the situation was different – the document was discussed for 17 hours with the participation of the leaders of the “Normandy format”.

“Without any appendages, without any doubt that it must be fulfilled,” the minister emphasized.

But for some reason, Ukraine is in no hurry to do this, and Lavrov’s words resemble an excuse for not recognizing the republics of Donbass, in contrast to Abkhazia and South Ossetia. What is really the difference?

– Legal casuistry on the topic of why Abkhazia and South Ossetia are one thing, Crimea is another, and Donbass is generally the third, for many years, and Lavrov did not say anything new, – thinks political scientist Stanislav Smagin

– Of course, in diplomacy, words and even punctuation marks matter, just remember how Bismarck by a slight correction of the dispatch about the meeting of the Prussian king with the French ambassador, he provoked, to his delight, the Franco-Prussian war, which led to the unification of Germany. However, in the context of comparing the South Caucasian and Ukrainian-Donbas situations, all the differences seem far-fetched.

Let’s say Saakashvili crossed out the words about Russia and France as guarantors of the agreements. So what? These agreements are still officially called the “Medvedev-Sarkozy plan”, at least by the Russian side. Within the same “Minsk format” there are much more ambitious discrepancies – Ukraine considers the Russian Federation to be a party to the conflict, the Russian Federation does not consider itself as such, but considers the LPNR a legal form of statehood for the people of Donbass. And Ukraine, in turn, considers the leadership of the republics to be terrorists, Russian puppets and denies them subjectivity …

If we talk about the real underlying reason for the difference, then I believe that, besides many other reasons, the point is also in the “toxicity” of the Russian theme for the “elitists”, both in domestic and foreign policy.

Abkhazia and South Ossetia (also not at all a stranger in cultural and civilizational terms), help with a creak, but provided.

In the case of Crimea, the intertwining of financial and economic factors played an important role, and still it was the extreme limit of the coincidence of national-state and “elite” interests.

Donbass and Novorossiya turned out to be beyond the bounds of what is permissible – in the understanding of the ruling class …

Seven years ago, taking advantage of the internal Ukrainian chaos and the fact that we have a whole fan of trump cards, starting with the legitimate president Yanukovych, the Russian government could do anything. And to include Novorossiya in Russia according to Crimean patterns, and to make a buffer statehood out of it and the Russian part of Ukraine in general. Moreover, I admit that the western regions would have already declared their desire to break away, and the soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine from Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk and Sumy would have gone to carry out “ATO” to Lvov.

– Lavrov’s words should be understood as follows: Abkhazia and South Ossetia, unlike the Donbass republics, did not have time to “merge” in 2008, so they had to be recognized, – says political scientist Andrey Milyuk

In an interview, Lavrov tells how Russia, together with France, tried to “pacify” Saakashvili. It looks exactly like the first stages of the Minsk process, the end point of which is to “shove” the rebellious pro-Russian regions back into the structure of a hostile state. It was not possible to do this only because of the outbreak of the war.

For the DPR and LPR, explains Lavrov, we managed to sign the Minsk agreements – the recognition of the republics is not provided for in them. The explanation sounds crazy, but it has its own logic. The Russian authorities do not consider Donbass to be a sphere of their interests. It is forced to deal with the people’s republics only under the pressure of society. The Kremlin still cherishes the hope of returning them back to Ukraine – not now, but in a few years.

Lavrov says bluntly that the Kremlin is afraid of a massacre in the Donbass in the event of an immediate surrender of the region to Kiev, but basically has nothing against the return of the DPR and LPR to their “home harbor.”

This interview should be watched, text transcript is not enough.

When Lavrov recounts how the West has wiped its feet on Russia in recent years, his words sound a sincere resentment and misunderstanding, and even a timid hope of reconciliation.

But how his voice changes when it comes to the future of Donbass – no feelings, only “big game”. The West turns out to be “dearer” to the Kremlin than the Russian Donbass, no matter what the state propaganda says.

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