Policy Memos

Recognition without Independence: Abkhazia’s International Context

Policy Memo:


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Abkhazia has enjoyed the status of a de facto independent state since it won a secessionist war with Georgia in 1992-1993. Six countries, all members of the United Nations, later recognized Abkhazia’s independence after the Russia-Georgia war of 2008. However, Abkhazia lacks broad international recognition. It is instead an object, not a subject, of negotiations between other states, mainly Georgia, Russia, the United States, and the European Union.

This memo focuses on the policy that Abkhazians have pursued to achieve independence and on the kinds of support and challenges they have encountered from the international community. On this basis, we try to answer a question: What actions would help Abkhazians effectively develop their position in the international context? [...]

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About the author

Associate Research Professor
George Washington University