Will Belarus recognise the breakaway regions?

By Ernest Petrosyan

The Editor of the Russian newspaper Zavtra, Alexander Prokhanov in an interview with Moscow's Radio Echo stated that he does not rule out Belarus recognising Abkhazia and South Ossetia following the inauguration of Lukashenko. He raised this issue while discussing Lukashenko's inauguration events.

According to Prokhanov, a Russian - Belarusian ministerial meeting was held prior to the inauguration ceremony. A wide range of issues was discussed between the two countries. He said he did not have any opportunity to meet Lukashenko during his stay; however, he was informed by Russian and Belarusian influential officials that Minsk will recognise the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the foreseeable future.

"I am a bad prophet, and I always make mistakes. However, it seems to me that Belarus will have to recognise Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states in the near future. Lukashenko needed those two cards when the European pack was shuffled, however, this pack is destroyed and cards fell on the floor," stated Prokhanov.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry however dismisses the notion that Belarus will recognise Georgia's occupied territories. According to the statement of the Deputy Foreign Minister Nino Kalandadze, Belarus has a sovereign right to determine foreign relations with other countries. "Belarus's approach towards other countries is entirely their sovereign right, though this does not affect our relations, and the relations over the past few years prove it," stated Ms. Kalandadze.

"There have been presumptions among experts for a long time already that Belarus will recognise the Georgian breakaway regions. For two years Lukashenko has been moving between the EU and Russia. However, the recently held elections, which were condemned by European states and international organisations forced Lukashenko to work on relations with Moscow, since he has lost any kind of support from the EU. Indeed, if Lukashenko's and Russian interest coincide, Belarus will recognise the independence of Georgia's occupied regions," stated political analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze.


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