Recognition Has Its Price

Alan CHOCHIYEV*
Doctor of Historical Sciences
Germany

 The South Ossetiahad the best possibilities for it since March 1992 up to the period, when the Kremlin, after losing in power-and-law games for Kosovo to the West (namely, the legal block of this competition), has actually taken the RSO out of the legal field. It took place even despite the independence referendum and the presidential election in RSO in 2006, which were initiated by the sameRussia.

-Mr. Chochiyev, how does the present day statehood of the Republic of South Ossetia (RSO) correspond to those conceptions that you have when the Republic was created?

-I would divide your question into two parts: the statehood and the republic. The republic, i.e. the government bodies, was formally created as early as in 1991-1992.

However, one most important thing remained: establishment of the statehood, which, as the question supposes, concretely means creation of a tax-payer. TheSouth Ossetiahad the best possibilities for it since March 1992 up to the period, when the Kremlin, after losing in power-and-law games for Kosovo to the West (namely, the legal block of this competition), has actually taken the RSO out of the legal field. It took place even despite the independence referendum and the presidential election in RSO in 2006, which were initiated by the sameRussia.

Thus, the Kremlin shifted all decisions to power games and changed its statement of purpose related to theSouth Ossetia. I mean, when the Kremlin refused to present the results of the referendum and elections in the UN, despite its own numerously announced intention, the Kremlin started aiming just at the territory of theSouth Ossetiawithout population or with its minimal numbers. The situation was prepared by the Kremlin for two years and brought to its height by August 2008.

However, the Kremlin-planned genocide of Ossetians with Saakashvili’s hands failed, and “through Saakashvili’s fault.” The insignificant number of victims to consider it genocide did not letRussiaremain on the RSO territory as a savior from the Georgian genocide.

-Then why did Moscow recognize the independence of the South Ossetia?


-As far as it was already impossible to use the legal aspect of blaming Georgia for genocide as a pretext for establishing itself on the territory of the “Ossetians, saved from the genocide,” the Kremlin had nothing to do but to recognize the independence of the South Ossetian Republic. So Russia concluded agreements on the presence and bases in this part of the South Caucasus with the RSO in that status.

In all the events after 2008, and especially the elections in the RSO (since November 2011 to spring 2012), the Kremlin actually has made a stake on the territory with a minimal self-governance of the population. The propagandist coverage of all events since 2006 and their very political logic do not require any cosmetics at all: everything is obvious. Even more, everything is being done blatantly and contemptuously concerning the Ossetians, who have got all that instead of Saakashvili, for whom the “trap with genocide” was laid. But Saakashvili guessed it right and managed to escape, so the Kremlin’s whole prepared fury has been splashed over Ossetians.

-Why Russia, having recognized the South Ossetia, does not support the idea of annexing it?

-This is the only question that I am unable to answer: after March 1991 and in connection with the collapse of the USSR in 1992, Russia was the only country in the world, having all rights to take the South Ossetian territory in accordance with all laws, including international norms.     I am still unable to understand what all the Russian moves to the Republic of South Ossetia in 1992-2008 were about? Today also Russia has all rights to annex the South Ossetia: but it still plays some games with Georgia and the West. That is why the Kremlin illegally appoints people, ready to perform any moves designed by Kremlin, as in the case with the project of 2008. Well, but in vain! Now people in the South Ossetia understand in politics a little more.
By the way, let us speak about the participation of population in political decision-making process. Is there any connection between the level of development of state institutions and international recognition of the new states (correlation of standards and the status)?


-Standards as such are different, to say nothing of the fact that a status is the same standard of several standards. Even if we take just the sustainability of the people of the territory, which standards are there: history, contemporary rights and laws, or the Force?

The recognition of new states mostly depends on the place where new states emerge in the hierarchy of interests in the given part of the world.

If there are global actors with some interests regarding the given region, then two conditions are important here: a new state should guarantee the most powerful global actors their interests in the region in the costs, acceptable to them; and the cost of the new state should be less for the neighbors than if there was the same territory with the same population, but without a new state. Then global actors incline to recognize a new state: while the threat of spreading conflicts by all levels of interests is less, i.e. from global to local conflicts.

What sort of potential possibilities do UN member states have to interact with unrecognized states?

-All levels of global and local interests are in a certain balance until a conflict of local interests breaks out, and global interests start searching for their own   benefits as well.

A UN member state will interact with unrecognized states in case if such an interaction does not cost high. This issue is always concrete: the region, people, the UN legal regime, direct and indirect costs of new relations – its benefits and costs.  

Interview by Anahit Danielyan



[*] Mr. Chochiyev is considered one of the founding fathers of the South Ossetian independence. 

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