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“Federalisation Remains the Best Way for Georgia to Avoid Outbreaks of Further Internal Disputes” , Interview with Prof. George Hewitt

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Author(s): Prof. George Hewitt

Journal: Caucasian Review of International Affairs
ISSN 1865-6773

Volume: 3;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 237;
Date: 2009;
Original page

ABSTRACT
CRIA: In light of a tumultuous past—but with a view to the immediate future—would you give your thoughts on national reconciliation between Tbilisi, Sukhum and Tskhinval (and other parts of Georgia), and how progress might be best achieved?Hewitt: Sukhum and Tskhinval as metonyms for the Abkhazians and (South) Ossetians respectively, would strenuously object to the implication that Abkhazia and South Ossetia represent “parts” of a Georgia wherein they could be parties to any “national” reconciliation.Tbilisi has had no say in South Ossetian affairs since the war instigated there by Georgia’s first post-communist leader, the late Zviad Gamsakhurdia, ended with the Dagomys Agreement in June 1992, just as it has had no say in Abkhazian affairs since the war imposed on the republic by Eduard Shevardnadze on 14th August 1992 ended with the expulsion of Georgian forces at the end of September 1993. Georgia, thus, effectively lost ‘de facto’ control over these one-time autonomous entities in 1992/3 — South Ossetia became an Autonomous District within Georgia in 1922, whilst Abkhazia was downgraded by Stalin from being a full republic with treaty-ties to Georgia to become a mere Autonomous Republic within Georgia in 1931. After the events of August 2008 there can be no realistic prospect of their reintegration within Georgia...
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