Russia’s lower house of parliament has proposed that the president and the government consider the issue of whether to recognize the independence of breakaway separatist regions in Georgia.Shortly after Kosovo declared its independence on February 17, two breakaway Georgian territories, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, along with Moldova’s Transdnestr, asked Russia’s parliament, the United Nations and other organizations to recognize their independence.
In their statement on Friday, MPs said it was necessary to protect people in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, most of whom are Russian passport holders, from a possible invasion by Georgia or Georgia’s accession to NATO.
The statement also calls for strengthening of the peacekeeping force in the conflict zones between Georgia and its breakaway territories, while maintaining its current format, as well as considering other peace and security measures in the region.
“The withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers could result in catastrophic consequences for civilians and in the destabilization of the situation,” the statement said.
Both Abkhazia and South Ossetia were involved in bloody conflicts with Georgia after proclaiming independence following the split-up of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Peacekeeping in the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict zone is currently carried out by collective CIS forces staffed with Russian service personnel. The situation in the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict area is controlled by joint forces also including Russian peacekeepers.
Russian lawmakers have so far refused to consider the recognition of Moldova’s breakaway region of Transdnestr, saying that there is a good chance the dispute can be resolved.