Monday 25 August 2008

The separatist agenda

Le Monde reports that backed by Putin's majority the Russian Duma has unanimously voted today to recognise South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent countries.

The resolution voted upon is non-binding (source) and addressed towards President Medvedev, but it is still a strong sign by the Russian parliament.

At the same time, Russian President Medvedev has warned Moldovan President Voronin (Communist Party of Moldova) today at a meeting of both in Sotchi not to repeat "Georgia's mistake of trying to use force to seize back control of a breakaway region", which in the case of Moldova would be Transnistria. However, Medvedev also told Voronin:
"We have agreed ... to meet and discuss the Transdniestria settlement. [...] I think there is a good reason to do this today. I see good prospects of reaching a settlement."
Whatever that means...

And to make the list of breakaway regions almost complete, Unzipped remarked that "this move would strengthen Karabakh positions in its quest for independence" (via Onnik Krikorian at

For those of you not familiar with this conflict: Nagorno Karabakh is an unrecognised quasi-republic within Azerbaijan with a population that is in majority Armenian. Armenia therefor favours "independence" while Azerbaijan wants the region to stay a part of the country. The resolution of the conflict was one of the conditions for both countries to become (and stay) members of the Council of Europe (the committee working on that question within the CoE is called the "Ago" Group). The countries joined the CoE in 2001...

Finally, Europe and its media start talking about these issues of "separatism" on our continent that are on the agenda of the countries concerned and of diplomatic meetings for years already but have hardly received any attention elsewhere.

It's sad that we needed a war and an intra-European clash of civilisations for that.