Abkhazia, Kosovo to recognize each other?

SUKHUMI -- Abkhazian officials say they will recognize Kosovo independence if Priština recognizes the Georgian province in return.

Foreign Minister Sergei Shamba, however, doubts that Kosovo, “which depends on the U.S. and NATO, will recognize the independence of Abkhazia.”

Abkhazia President Sergei Bagapsh told a group of Russian and foreign journalists yesterday that “the process of recognition, just like every conflict, is universal on its own and it cannot be measured by the same benchmarks.”

“We said when the Kosovo process began that, regardless of how it ended, whether it was recognized or not, we would not give up on our path to independence,” Bagapsh said, adding that the Kosovo decision had sped up the process in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and heightened the awareness of what was being sought.

He pointed to double standards, stating that the main question was “why some can do everything and others can do nothing,” adding that “Kosovo is the heart of Serbia,” that they “ripped out without a decision from the UN Security Council or Council members.”

President of South Ossetia Eduard Kokoity also showed support for Serbia, stating that secession from Georgia had a lot more political-legal and historical basis than Kosovo independence.

“Kosovo is a product of aggression and the break-up of a well-formed European state—Serbia,” Kokoity said, stating that South Ossetia and Abkhazia were a product of the democratic collapse of the USSR.

Asked whether South Ossetia planned to recognize Kosovo, and whether it expected recognition from Priština, he said that South Ossetia “does not plan on rushing with Kosovo,” and that it expected recognition in the meantime from “other real, democratic states formed by the will of the people.”

“And as far as recognition of such fake creations as Kosovo is concerned, we will refrain from recognizing it for now,” Kokoity underlined.