Routine references to Georgia’s territorial integrity have disappeared from official Russian policy statements since early this year. Those references used to be a fixture in Moscow’s statements, even if that integrity was always honored in the breach. Their disappearance is a further indication of Russia’s implicit “de-recognition” of Georgia’s territorial integrity at the level of official rhetoric, on top of the explicit non-recognition on the practical level.
Moscow now seeks to de-legitimize Georgia’s internationally recognized borders by attributing them to decisions by Soviet leaders. In continuation of this argument, the Duma’s International Affairs Committee Chairman Konstantin Kosachev declared on July 10, “Georgia is a construction that emerged in the totalitarian Soviet Union, a construction whose authorship belongs to the then-dictator Iosif Stalin.” He went on to hint that Moscow was about to open some kind of representation offices in Abkhazia and South Ossetia (Ekho Moskvy, July 10). Kosachev enjoys close relations with the Kremlin. His thesis should be chilling to Ukraine, Moldova, Kazakhstan, and other ex-Soviet ruled countries, inasmuch as Moscow can use the same argument in trying to de-legitimize their post-1991, internationally recognized borders. (Vladimir Socor)
Friday, July 11, 2008
Moscow "De-Recognizes" Georgia