Sunday, April 3, 2011

Week 28th March-03rd April: Sovereignty and Paradoxes

According to the Georgian Law on Occupied Territories, 23 Oct. 2008, article 2, Russia is occupying:
a) Territory of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia;
b) Tskhinvali region (territory of the former Autonomous Republic of South Ossetia);
c) Waters in the Black Sea: territorial inland waters and sea waters of Georgia, their floor and resources, located in the aquatic territory of the Black Sea, along the state border with the Russian Federation, to the South of the Psou river, up to the administrative border at the estuary of the Engury River, to which the sovereign right of Georgia is extended; also the sea zones: the neighboring zone, the special economic zone and the continental trail where, in compliance with the legislation of Georgia and international law, namely the UN Convention on Maritime Law (1982), Georgia has fiscal, sanitary, emigration and customs rights in the neighboring zone and the sovereign right and jurisdiction in the special economic zone and the continental trail;
d) The air space over the territories stipulated in Paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of this Clause.

Now there’s a new statistics about who’s living in point a. Sukhumi released the 2011 preliminary census, assessing a total population of 214 000 inhabitants, 64 478 of whom live in the Capital (plus 12 000 in its rural area), 39 342 in Gagra, 37 143 in Gudauta, 30 437 in Gali, 25 235 in Ochamchire, 18 146 in Gulripshi, 16 000 in Tkvarcheli (= tot. 242 781?).

Who are these 242 781/214 000 citizens? Abkhazians or Georgians under occupation? For the International community, save Russia-Nauru-Venezuela-Nicaragua, they are citizens of Abkhazia, may they be Russian passport holders. With an exception: the village of Aibga. If the Law on Occupation states in clear letters where are the borders between Georgia and the Russian Federation. On the contrary the borders between Abkhazia and Russia are a matter of dispute for the village of Aibga. A mixed commission Sukhumi-Moscow held its second meeting in Moscow to clarify the issue of sovereignty over an area of 169Kmq. A non-State with problems of territorial integrity? It sounds a bit a paradox.

But it’s not a unique case. Nagorno-Karabakh as well – which is universally unrecognized, save by some unrecognized/partially recognized States – has not only territorial claims but also a weird inner gerarchy in what it believes to be its territory. The recent OSCE mission entitled its report “Report of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs' Field Assessment Mission to the Occupied Territories of Azerbaijan surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh” . Fair enough, Zangilan, Gubadii, Lachin, Kelbajar, Agdam, Fizuli, Jabrail were not part of the Autonomous Region of NK.

Now, the point is that the whole territory which now falls under the "sovereignty" of Stepanakert, is going to be connected via direct flight to Yerevan… which officially never recognized its existence. As for Georgia in point d. of the Law on Occupation, Azerbaijan protests the violation of its air space, assumed to cover NK, as long a sit doesn’t recognize it.

The first passenger of the first flight, scheduled for May, should be the Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan who coming from NK, in absence of recognition, may be considered an Azerbaijani born citizen, as his predecessor Robert Kocharyan.

Sovereignty, non recognition and paradoxes!

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