Baltics condemn breakaway recognition

  • 2008-08-27
  • In cooperation with BNS and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Former foreign minister Artis Pabriks also condemned the actions

RIGA- LatvianForeign Minister Maris Riekstins has condemned the decision by RussianPresident Dmitry Medvedev to recognize the independence of Georgia's breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Riekstins said that the decision contradicts the fundamentalprinciples of Georgia'sindependence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, recognized by the UNCharter, The Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europein Helsinki,and the resolutions of the UN Security Council.

Riekstins voiced support to the principle of Georgia'sterritorial integrity within the internationally recognized borders and calledto find a political solution for the conflict in Georgia. He believes that Russia'sdecision does not promote settlement of the conflict.

Meanwhile, Latvian parliament lawmaker, former foreignminister and board member of organization Society For Other Politics, ArtisPabriks, believes that Russiaby officially recognizing independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, has spit on international rights.

"From the point of view of international rights, Russia isacting incorrectly. Russiais attempting to relate Georgiawith precedent of Kosovo, but these are completely different situations. Kosovowas a subject of lengthy discussions in the whole world, not just a decisionmade by one country all of a sudden. Russia thus has spit oninternational rights, refusing to listen to what the rest of the world has tosay," said Pabriks.

He said that recognition of South Ossetia andAbkhazia can be compared to a card game.

 "Currently there is a game with trump cards. Russiahas made its step and now wants to see the world's reaction," he said.

 "What would Russiado if somebody recognized independence of Russia'sautonomous region Chechnyaand Tatarstan? Russia willnot be able to say that other countries are not allowed to interfere in itsinternal affairs, as it has just interfered in the internal affairs of theindependent Georgia.

 The former minister also said that Russia isacting hypocritically and without regard to international protocol.

 "Russiain its rhetoric has often cited the Helsinki Act, signed in 1975, which settlesrecognition of borders. Russiacited this act also in disputes with Latviaconcerning former Latvia'sregion of Abrene. Now Russiahas forgotten the Helsinki Act and does not respect internationalborders," said former Latvian minister.

On August 26, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signeddecrees on the recognition of South Ossetiaand Abkhazia as sovereign states.