All these facts considered how Russia perceives Abkhazia per se and considers it in its foreign policy with respect to its current decision should be clearly explained. Since the end of the 1992-93 War, Russia has always trumped Abkhazia against Georgia and mainly been responsible for the embargo against Abkhazia, with the idea that, once required, it can claim the protection of its rights in Abkhazian territories and even annex them. By this way, Russia succeeded to make Abkhazian people dependent upon it and, thus, created a compulsion for them to get Russian citizenship as it was the only way to get rid of this isolation.
The fact that %90 of Abkhazian population carries Russian passport should be analyzed properly. To consider this compulsory choice of the Abkhazian people as their own wish to join the Russian Federation and give up their independence will just inadvertently help Russia’s policies of back- door annexation. It should not be forgotten that this situation aroused as an outcome of the isolation and alienation policies resulted from the embargo. Consequently, getting Russian passport and citizenship realized as a result of a pragmatic way of thinking.
We expect the Abkhazian administration to give a reaction reflecting the will of the Abkhazian people against the so-called decision of the Russian Federation. It is an unquestionable fact that, the attendance of Abkhazia which declared its independence as a result of a referendum to the elections of another state- that is the Russian Federation- will give serious harms to its struggle for de jure independence. Since any state shall gather votes of its citizens who live abroad through its representative offices and consulates as a principle of international law, to support the decision of putting ballot boxes publicly in Abkhazia will mean nothing but the approval of the policies of those western countries and Georgia, which consider Abkhazian government as a separatist. As we are currently in a period of constant debates going over independence, this situation will cause the claims on some part of the Western media and Georgia that Abkhazia is a separatist to strengthen. This, thus, will unfortunately expose Abkhazia to more and more isolation in the international arena.
Considering the current situation and policies of the Russian Federation, we think that Russia is very far from aiming to support Abkhazia. It is the preferential demand of the “Caucasus Forum” that Russia should explain and clarify its real intent regarding its decision to put ballot boxes in Abkhazia and Abkhaz administration should not keep its silence against this decision.
* Abkhazia had declared its independence on 23 July 1992 before Georgian attacks. As a result of the referandum held in 1999 Abkhazia, Abkhazian people exercised their will for independence.