Today, Vladimir Putin will visit Abkhazia, a Georgian breakaway territory occupied by Russian forces since the Russian-Georgian war, exactly 9
Today, Vladimir Putin will visit Abkhazia, a Georgian breakaway territory occupied by Russian forces since the Russian-Georgian war, exactly 9 years ago. The Georgian Minister for Reconciliation labeled the visit a “provocation” and raised concerns about annexation by Russia.
Abkhazia, along with South Ossetia—a nearby ethnically Russian territory also claimed by separatists—has developed strong military and economic ties with Russia since the 2008 war. Mr Putin’s last visit in 2013 brought the promise of a full military, recently followed by the creation of a joint Russo-Abkhaz force and common defence space.
Abkhazian separatism has disrupted Georgian territorial legitimacy and limits Georgian Black Sea and heavy land trade. Annexation of small areas across Georgia and other former Soviet republics’ (including Transnistria in Moldova) allow Putin to block a NATO-led “Euro-Atlantic integration.” Continuing Russian financial and military investment of Abkhaz statehood suggests that the region’s frozen conflicts are here to stay.