Abkhazian President: “Recognition is not an easy process”

Abkhazian President Sergey Bagapsh spoke to RT about the impact Hugo Chavez’s decision to recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is likely to have.

RT: How important is this move for your country?

President Bagapsh: This is a really important decision for our country and for South Ossetia as well. A year has passed since the recognition of our countries by Russia and Nicaragua. What happened today has crucial importance for us, that’s for sure. It means victory of both Russia’s and our diplomacy. It means that we have chosen the right policy in our work with other countries. And I believe this is the beginning of further recognition of our countries by other states.

RT: Even with Venezuela, Abkhazia has still only been recognized by only three countries. How is this impacting the situation in the republic?

President Bagapsh: We fully realize that recognition is not an easy process. Today I would like to thank Hugo Chavez deeply. Recognition does not just confirm the fact, it's also the responsibility of our states that are only beginning to get into the world stage – the responsibility to heed international norms. We've already been recognized by great states – by the Russian Federation and by Venezuela – a really powerful and strong state with such a leader. How many countries recognize us in the future is dependent on how we will build our domestic and foreign policies.

RT: May we see possible arms deals with Venezuela following Hugo Chavez's decision?

President Bagapsh: I believe that during our first stage we would rather think about economic agreements and developing economic ties. Arms will follow later. In order to deal with military tasks, we do not really have to sign these agreements with Venezuela. The most important thing here is that, the more the countries that recognize us, the more contacts mean mutual enrichment of nations. For us, the very fact is of crucial importance. We have something to learn from Venezuela, and we have invited our Venezuelan friends to visit us in Abkhazia. So this is why the most important thing for us now is economy and policy of peace. The military issues should be postponed.

RT: Thank you very much, Mr. Bagapsh.