Caucasus in the context of globalization« Back
November 17, 2017 in the city of Sukhum (conference hall of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Abkhazia) the Forum "Caucasus in the context of globalization" was held. The initiative of its holding belongs to President Raul Khajimba, that's why he was present during the entire meeting of the Forum. This event was coordinated with Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit to Abkhazia on August 8, 2017. Then the allied character of Russian-Abkhaz relations was confirmed in the face of new global challenges. In particular, Vladimir Putin said that Russia has "a very special relationship with Abkhazia, we reliably guarantee the security and independence of Abkhazia, its independence."
As the President of the Republic of Abkhazia Raul Khajimba reported later, during the talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin "... we agreed to coordinate steps to counteract security challenges and threats in the Caucasus even more closely. And they are, we can see it well. And they can move to the territory of Abkhazia. The creation of a unified contour of defense and security, envisaged by the Treaty on Alliance and Strategic Partnership, is aimed at protecting the entire Caucasus from military threat and destabilization. The maintenance and strengthening of the security of the Caucasus in a broad sense also implies the high role and importance of Abkhazia as a strategic player in the Caucasus region, whose potential is still not fully utilized.
It should be noted that the main parameters of bilateral cooperation are determined by the Treaty between Russia and Abkhazia on the Alliance and Strategic Partnership of November 24, 2014. This treaty was ratified by the national parliaments and entered into force on March 5, 2015 after the ceremony of exchange of instruments of ratification. This agreement provides for the formation of a common space for defense and security, and also guarantees Abkhazia to raise social standards for the local population.
Opened and hosted the Caucasus Forum in the Context of Globalization, Irakli Hintba, Adviser to the President of the Republic of Abkhazia, Director of the Sukhumi Russian Drama Theater. The second leading forum was made by the general director of the Center for Ethno-Problematics in the Media at the Russian Union of Journalists, culturologist Sulieta Kusova-Chukho, who in her brief speech stated the existence of a local Abkhazian civilization. From her point of view, the republic does not have its own history. And now the most acute problem is whether the peoples of the Caucasus will be able to survive in the era of globalization. Sulieta Kusova-Chukho believes that Abkhazia is a civilizational bridge between Europe and Asia, the North (Russia) and the South (Georgia, Turkey, the Middle East as a whole).
President of the Republic of Abkhazia Raul Khajimba addressed the Forum with an opening speech. In particular, he noted that the Forum "The Caucasus in the context of globalization" is taking place in Abkhazia on the eve of important events. So, in 2018, Abkhazia will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Victory in the Patriotic War of 1992-1993. and the 10th anniversary of the recognition by the Russian Federation of the Republic of Abkhazia as a sovereign independent state.
According to Raul Khajimba, the Russian Federation stands for the development of sovereign democracy and ensuring the independent statehood of countries that resist modern trends of globalization. At the same time, Moscow is increasingly trying to influence the process of forming a new world order. However, issues of wide recognition of Abkhazia's independence are directly dependent on Western countries' attitude to Russia, as Sukhum is a reliable partner of Moscow.
He believes that the countries of the European Union (EU) do not recognize the independence of Abkhazia, as they insist on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia. For its part, Tbilisi continues to regard Abkhazia as an "occupied territory" and, with the support of the West, it is building up military power to solve the "Abkhaz issue" by force (in fact, this is not observed, as is evident from the structure of the Georgian Armed Forces, instead, on the use of "soft power"). At the same time, Georgia's "engagement strategy" is moving towards Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which includes humanitarian and other mechanisms for "soft integration" of Abkhazia's population into Georgia's life. The same strategy, according to Raul Khajimba, is being implemented by the Georgian side towards the North Caucasus, which requires Moscow to respond.
Undoubtedly, the Caucasus is saturated with interethnic and ethnopolitical conflicts, which cannot be solved solely by legal and political means. Therefore, an alliance of humanitarians, scientific and creative intelligentsia, journalists and other segments of the population of the Caucasus is needed. The timing of the accounts is a thing of the past. And as Raul Khajimba believes, such global challenges of our time as the ambitions of transnational corporations that level the significance and role of modern states and institutions of power can interrupt the history of many Caucasian peoples. Он считает, что противостоять этому можно только путем объединения усилий. Фундаментом диалога должна стать наша совместная многовековая история. При этом необходимо подчинить историческую память формированию гражданского патриотизма, вписать историю наших народов в глобальный мир.
Undoubtedly, historical memory plays a special role in the definition of the Caucasian identity. And the historical subjects of a hundred years ago echo in the days of today, tearing the fragile peace of the Caucasus in new geopolitical conditions. Thus, the occupation of Abkhazia by the Menshevik government of Georgia in 1918 echoes the tragic events of the 1990s. In particular, the government of Noah Jordania (Social Democrats) introduced compulsory Georgian citizenship, which deprived Russian, Abkhaz, Armenians and other people, except Georgians, of the right to vote. With the help of Great Britain, it was then planned to create a Federation of Caucasian peoples led by Georgia, where they wanted to include the entire North and South Caucasus.
The echo of the imperial ambitions of Georgia in the early 20th century is its appeal to the West as an ally in the new century. Isolation from the Russian world - the civilizational core of the whole Georgian history of the last three centuries - affects today's policy of Tbilisi towards Abkhazia and South Ossetia. But the political ambitions of the Georgian elite contradict the logic of history.
Russia's special civilizational attraction, the gravity of the Russian world as a sociocultural phenomenon, has more than once prevented the Russian power from decaying on the steepest bends in its history, including the period of the 1917 revolution. But even with the collapse of the Russian Empire and the ensuing civil war, the North Caucasus and Abkhazia remained in the Russian statehood. Thus, after gaining independence, Abkhazia entered the "Union of United Highlanders of the North Caucasus and Dagestan". Moreover, the mountaineers of the North Caucasus did not fall into anarchy and separatism, but showed political prudence. These political processes were led by the Caucasian elite, formed and brought up by the Russian Empire and Russian culture.
Now Abkhazia is restoring its relations with the republics of the North Caucasus. The economic potential of the republic is also growing. So, in recent years, its budget has increased from 2 to 5 billion rubles.
New challenges of our time require the expansion and strengthening of cultural and scientific ties, the creation of expert analytical platforms and dialogue projects in the context of globalization processes. According to Raul Khajimba, this should be done within the framework of the Caucasian Club in order to create a common cultural and information space. This is especially important now because of the beginning of the presidential election campaign in the Russian Federation. At this time, the West is likely to make attempts to destabilize the situation in the Caucasus. In this regard, it is necessary to develop in Russia and Abkhazia a set of measures of the broadest character aimed at consolidating the intellectual forces of the region to protect our common interests in the Caucasus.
According to Raul Khajimba, the Georgian side must also realize that the reverse course of history is impossible. When we solve internal problems in Abkhazia, we will be able to enter the international arena. This can be facilitated by the railway through the territory of the republic to the countries of the South Caucasus.
The Ambassador of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Abkhazia (RA) Semyon Grigoriev also addressed the participants of the forum with greetings. As he believes, "the relevance of the topic, which is devoted to the forum, is obvious. The international context for the development of the situation in the Caucasus is exacerbated day by day. The actions of Western countries that launched an attack on Russia and its allies literally in all directions cannot be regarded otherwise than the imposition of a cold war on us. Those present today in the hall remember what happened in the years that we characterize as the classic Cold War between East and West in the 70's and 80's and early 90's. Now this is repeated, perhaps even in some areas in a more acute form. If at that time the question of the Allies was resolved naturally by the Soviet Union, now it is more difficult to solve. For the preservation of each ally in the orbit of Russian interests have to fight. In this regard, the existence of friendly fraternal Abkhazia, which is Russia's strategic partner, is fundamentally important for Russia. "
In this regard, relations between Moscow and Sukhum are important not only in the military-political, but also in the economic fields. In particular, 50 Russian entities have established economic ties with Abkhazia. But not all of them actively interact in Sukhumi. At the same time, the subjects of the North Caucasus, which have their own experience in solving complex social and economic problems, are of great interest to the republic.
Then, with a report "Abkhazia as a prospect: the 21st century for the region and the country", Alexander Skakov, senior researcher at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, who believes that history is a constant attempt to assert itself. In this regard, it is important to create a single nation in Abkhazia, the basis of which should be the Abkhaz people. However, there are growth ailments in the republic: weakening of the family, preservation of contradictions between the Abkhazians and Armenians, and others. In particular, the data of the Abkhazian population census of 2011 are questionable, according to which the number of Abkhazians inexplicably increased sharply and made up more than 50% of the total population of the republic (some in Abkhazia explain this growth by the return of those who left before the CIS countries).
He also touched upon the issue of returning Georgian refugees to Abkhazia: "Our colleagues in the West are now recalling the return of refugees. Allegedly throughout the world, refugees have returned to their homes, but in Abkhazia and South Ossetia because of the bad Russia, Abkhazians and South Ossetians, they do not return. In Kosovo, 100,000 Serbs now live in enclaves, while in Serbia only refugees from Kosovo - about 330 thousand Serbs. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, where there is autonomy - Republika Srpska, more or less Serbs can live. Before the war in Yugoslavia there were up to 1 million 270 thousand Serbs, 970 thousand remained. Croatia had 580 thousand Serbs, and about 130 thousand remained. Countries recognized as members of the UN, yes? Well, Kosovo is not yet, but Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina - they are good. True, the refugees do not go there ... Why in this case is Abkhazia an extreme one? "
According to Alexander Skakov, Russia is an integral part of Western Christian civilization. In this regard, Abkhazia can become a bridge, including between Christians and Muslims. And Georgia is a satellite not only to the US, but also to Turkey and Azerbaijan. But all of them in the future will definitely recognize Abkhazia. As he believes, for the republic now it is most important to solve the problem of shortage of trained personnel and to limit Islamic radicalism.
Within the framework of the Forum, Deputy Director of the Institute of CIS countries Vladimir Evseev made a report: "Security in the Caucasus in conditions of global turbulence", in which he tried to describe external security contours for Abkhazia. In particular, he noted that in Syria the war with the radical organization "Islamic State" is coming to an end. However, the Jebhat al-Nusra militants are increasingly turning into pro-Turkish armed groups, primarily in the province of Idlib. the Islamic state still controls 30% of the Syrian province of Deir ez Zor. The Kurdish problem is becoming more acute. Nevertheless, in the spring of 2018, the country's economic recovery may begin. At the same time, external investments will come from China, Qatar and the UAE. Abkhazia could take part in the revival of Syria, using, for example, its influence among local Circassians.
In addition, in his report, Vladimir Evseev drew attention to the foreign policy activity in the South Caucasus of Iran. This is of particular relevance in view of the forthcoming (November 22) visit to Sochi of Iranian presidents Hasan Roukhani and Turkey Recep Erdogan. Such a trilateral format is of special interest for Abkhazia, including in the economic sphere.
The Abkhazian political scientist Leila Tania, who delivered a report "Abkhazia as a factor of security and development of the Black Sea-Caucasian region", as an example, touched upon the countries of the former Yugoslavia. She used the notion of "compulsion to confess." In her opinion, the countries of the West are now using the issue of Serbia's admission to the EU, have made a decision on it to hold a referendum. According to the results of the latter, changes can be made in the country's constitution, which allows recognizing Kosovo's independence. Abkhazia should also try to do the same from Georgia.
Leila Tania concluded her report in the following way: "In the end, let's put an end, our point, the Russian-Abkhazian, in our victory over the aggressor. Let us pose the question of Georgia's actual surrender, and perhaps, just as it was at the Potsdam conference, the decision to denazify Germany ... I believe that today Georgia demonstrates an example of a national-chauvinistic state that needs to improve its ideological, political and etc".
Within the framework of the Forum, the director of the Abkhazian Institute of Humanitarian Studies named after. D. I. Gulia of the Academy of Sciences of Abkhazia Vasily Avidzba made a report "Cultural and Civilizational Relations of the Peoples of the North-Western Caucasus and Russia: A Retrospective and Prospects." In particular, he said that excessive attention to the Patriotic War of 1992-1993. does not contribute to the resolution of current problems.
Vasily Avidzba drew attention to the fact that, having arrived in the Ottoman Empire, Circassians and Abkhazians did not receive what they expected. Moreover, they were settled in places of potential conflicts with Russia and Christians in the Middle East. This is just one example of how difficult the problem of Mohajire is.
No less interesting was the report of Aslan Avidzba on the topic: "The past in the service of the present or the present is a captivity of the past (the problem of the reconstruction of historical memory)." He believes that history has ceased to be a science of the past, since historical memory is constructed under the influence of circumstances. However, inadequate perception of the past leads to an inadequate perception of the future.
The chairman of the presidium of the Congress of the Peoples of the Caucasus, Ali Tatarkulov, who spoke during the exchange of views, said that if an armed conflict arose between Abkhazia and Georgia, the North Caucasian peoples would again defend Abkhazia. At the same time, he is convinced that it is necessary to establish mutual understanding and good relations among all the peoples of the Caucasus, including Abkhaz and Georgian.
One of the representatives of the Abkhazian public drew attention to the fact that in the XIX century 80% of the population of Abkhazia was expelled from the Russian Empire. The remaining inhabitants were assimilated. So you need to think about how to unite the divided people. So, only 120 thousand Abkhazians now live in the republic, and 700 thousand - in Turkey. President Raul Khajimba pointed out that people cannot be torn from the territory where they live long ago. This will create them a lot of problems.
The forum decided to establish the International Caucasian Club, one of whose goals is to promote the integration processes in the Caucasus and strengthen peace in the region.
At the end of the Forum, Sulieta Kusova-Chukho noted that the meeting was very fruitful. The idea of creating the International Caucasian Club was supported by the President of Abkhazia, the Russian Ambassador to Abkhazia, representatives of the civil sector of public organizations of the North Caucasus and the scientific community of Abkhazia. The project to create this club was also approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Sulieta Kusova-Chukho also stated: "Of course, we will have the possibility of visiting meetings; it is possible that there will be projects of the club that will be held in other territories, since the sphere of our interests is not limited to one Caucasus. It's a mobile club, but the main location will be in Sukhum".
Thus, the main result of the "Caucasus in the context of globalization" Forum in Sukhum was the establishment of the International Caucasian Club. The Institute of CIS countries took part in this, which confirms its high international prestige.