(The National Interest) Sochi borders Abkhazia, a de facto breakaway region of Georgia, which is itself a major strategic partner of the United States, the European Union and NATO. Abkhazia’s statehood and national independence have both been recognized by Russia, making the athletic events at Sochi into a major geopolitical issue. The Georgian authorities have many times called for a boycott of the Olympics, drawing comparisons between the Russia of the 2000s and the Soviet Union during its invasion of Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989.
The rise to power of the “Georgian dream” coalition during the parliamentary elections of 2012 has led the new authorities in Tbilisi to propose the normalization of relations with Moscow, and Georgia’s National Olympic Committee formally supported the country’s participation in the Sochi Olympics. Yet the principal conflicts, such as the status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and the absence of diplomatic relations, have caused the “Sochi issue” to remain one of the most salient, topical questions on the Russo-Georgian agenda. […]
See the full article, which includes the following sub-sections: Security in the North Caucasus, The Circassian Issue, Sochi and the Russo-Georgian Relationship, Russia-Abkhazia: Asymmetric Partnership, and Protection for the Cossacks.
© The National Interest