In the end, after denials and counter-denials, it seems that, yes, Vanuatu recognizes Abkhazia.
Vanuatu's clumsy, weird, queer recognition has - most surely heedlessly - set a precedent. For the first time the tandem Abkhazia-South Ossetia was set apart. All previous recognitions had affected both simultaneously.
Somehow this episode reflects what's actually going on. The two de factos are different, although the shared path of the last three years caused a mis-perception about their alleged parallelism.
It's a matter of population, resources, and why not? thou in a contest of illegality - for most of the international community - a matter of rule of law and internal sovereignty.
The death of "President" Bagapsh compels Sukhumi to hold early presidential elections. Next week the list of candidates will be drawn, but one assessment can already be made: there are the requisites for genuinely competitive elections, meaning that more than one potential candidate have sound reasons to hope for presidency. Acting president and Prime Minister can both have "Great Expectations".
The scenario is completely different in South Ossetia. Elections are scheduled for November. In the next five months anything can happen, if the last weeks are just a preview. Gasseyev's initiative to collect signatures to support a third term of "President" Kokoity ended into nothing. The "Supreme Court" ruled out its conformity to Constitutional provisions and... the "Parliament" had special, uninvited guests.
There are contradictory reports of an armed group entering the Parliament on the 15th. Rule of law doesn't seem to be on the A list of practices of Tskhinvali, once more.
So close, so far away.
And so close but still so far away are the words of Azerbaijani propaganda about Karabakh. Although an exchange of fire was reported on the 17th, it was not followed by the outcry of outrage, if not a threat of war, as it used to be some time ago. Tension eased a little bit, but everything is still on the plate.
So far, one can spot a difference, but only in words.