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17 Nov, 2006 08:04

Leaders of 3 breakaway republics meet in Moscow

Leaders of 3 breakaway republics meet in Moscow

Leaders of the Breakaway Republics of South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Transdniester have been meeting in Moscow. Questions relating to co-operation between the three republics topped the agenda.

All three republics have held their own referendum on independence. The republic of South Ossetia was the latest, with more than 90% of its people voting to officially separate from Georgia.

The leaders of breakaway Transdniester and Abkhazia say they want to improve co-operation between themselves, and promote joint economic development.

The South Ossetian Presidential representative to Russia, Dmitry Medoyev, said if the international community ignores the results of its referendum, it'll go against democratic principle.

“South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Transdniester consider a referendum to be the highest form in which people express their will. The referendum is one of the corner stones of democracy in general. Therefore, the world community can either recognise or not recognise the referendums’ results, but I think that not recognising the will of the people is extremely undemocratic and contradicts the values professed by the whole world.  I mean democracy and people’s rights. Therefore, I am sure that South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Transdniester will soon become recognised states because ignoring the will of the people is impossible”.

Mikhail Chernov, an expert on the CIS affairs, commented on the breakaway republics leaders meeting in Moscow.

Mr Chernov said that the essential steps on the republics’ way to international recognition are already made. “People of the republics have already aroused their decision in democratic way. I just came from Tshinvalli yesterday and I saw myself the way the referendum was held there. It was a fully democratic procedure. So, I think that the basic thing is already done, and now it is up to the international community to show us that they follow democratic principles,” he said.

“The first and the main problem is disrespect of these republics by the international community. The second problem is the lack of international investments mainly in infrastructure. Abkhazia, South-Ossetia and even Trasndniester are good places for recreation,” Mr Chernov added.