Interview of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia Daur Kove to the newspaper "Republic of Abkhazia"

Interview of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia Daur Kove to the newspaper "Republic of Abkhazia"
15 May 2017 512
DAUR KOVE ON TOPICAL QUESTIONS

On October 4, 2016, President Raul Khadzhimba signed a decree appointing Daur Vadimovich Kove as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia.

Daur Vadimovich Kove was born on March 15, 1979 in the town of Sukhum. In 2000 he graduated from the Bashkir State University, majoring in "Jurisprudence", specializing in "Legal support of foreign economic activity". From 1995 to 2009 he worked as a referent, adviser, then Plenipotentiary Representative of the Republic of Abkhazia in the Republic of Bashkortostan. From 2005 to 2010, he served as the head of the International department, worked as the Deputy Foreign Minister of the Republic of Abkhazia.

From 2010 to 2011 - head of the Office of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Abkhazia. From June to November 2012 - head of the Legal department of the Emergency Situations Department of the Republic of Abkhazia. From 2012 to 2014 - Deputy Director of the Abkhaz branch of the Russian non-profit foundation "Institute of Eurasian Studies". From 2013 to 2014 - adviser to the head of the Emergency Situations Department of the Republic of Abkhazia.

In November 2013, Daur Kove was appointed as adviser to the Speaker of the People's Assembly - the Parliament of the Republic of Abkhazia, and since November 2014 - the head of the Protocol Office of the President of the Republic of Abkhazia.

By the Decree of the President of the Republic of Abkhazia, Daur Kove was awarded the diplomatic rank of the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Envoy of the First Class.

He is married and has two children.

The conversation with the Minister of Foreign Affairs was conducted by journalists Yuri Kurasqua, Liliana Yakovleva, Zaira Tsvizhba, Leyla Pachulia, Julia Solovyova and Rusudan Bargandzhia. Here is the recording of the conversation.

Geneva Discussions

The Republic of Abkhazia is striving to conclude a peace agreement with Georgia, which would put an end to the longstanding Georgian-Abkhaz confrontation. We take an active part in the Geneva discussions on security and stability in Transcaucasia, which are the only international format in which the Abkhaz delegation has the opportunity to express its position to the representatives of the United Nations, the EU, the US Department of State, the OSCE and to state our own opinion on issues of current concern to us. It should be emphasized that the Geneva format is the only international platform where representatives of Abkhazia and Georgia meet. At the same time, the representatives of Georgia have incommensurably wider propaganda opportunities for voicing their point of view, speaking at various international forums, including the UN. This obviously puts the Abkhaz side in an unequal position and contributes to the formation of a biased view of the position of the Republic of Abkhazia and, in general, about the Georgian-Abkhazian confrontation with the international community. It is our deep conviction that such a situation cannot serve the cause of achieving peace and overcoming existing disagreements.

The Geneva site was "born" after the events of 2008. The Georgian side is ready to sign a legal agreement on the non-use of force today, but not with Abkhazia and with Russia. Thus, there is a substitution of concepts from the Georgian side, which is trying to present the Russian Federation as a party to the conflict, thereby deliberately forming a false image of the world community about the existence of a conflict with Russia and bypassing all the known fact about Georgia's aggression against South Ossetia and Abkhazia in the early 90s. Obviously, speculation on this topic does not contribute to a constructive dialogue and is detrimental to the Geneva process, as the Abkhaz side has repeatedly stated.

Taking into account the fact that the Geneva discussions have lasted for more than one year, there is an opinion in our society that the site is ineffective. But this is not so. Together with all participants in the Geneva discussions, we form the agenda, introducing into it the issues that are relevant for our country. In general, this is a platform that gives the possibility to bring to the broad international community our position and our understanding of certain processes that are developing around us. I do not want to say yet, in what direction and what we plan to do, but most importantly, that the work is underway. The main message of the Geneva discussions is the signing of a legally binding document on the non-use of force. During the previous round of discussions, we were very close to accepting a joint statement on the non-use of force. But the Georgian side once again demonstrated a destructive position, refusing to sign the document. Although, I want to note that other participants in the discussions, including the Co-chairs of the Geneva discussions, were aimed at achieving results.

The main problem in Abkhazia's relations with representatives of the European public is that they receive subjective information about the situation in the region from the Georgian side. For example, at the recent hearings in Geneva, the Georgian side raised the issue of closing two checkpoints on the border with Georgia, presenting this event to the European public as a terrible humanitarian catastrophe. I suggested that the Co-chairs of the Geneva discussions visit these checkpoints to make sure that such statements are groundless.

We are also surprised by the fact that Georgia, together with its Western partners, raises the issue of violation of the rights of residents of Gal and refugees. But in the first place it is Georgia that prevents Abkhazia's air and sea communication with other countries and creates many other obstacles for the residents of Abkhazia. Can only Gal residents and refugees have rights and freedoms? But what about the rest of the population of Abkhazia?

During the conversation, the topic of increasing the presence of NATO forces in Georgia was discussed. In this regard, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, in particular, noted that the expansion of the military presence of NATO forces undermines stability in the region, as it creates a military imbalance and shapes the Georgian side's illusion of the possibility of settling the conflict with Abkhazia and South Ossetia by force.

The world should understand why the Republic of Abkhazia is an independent state, what was the basis, what preconditions were for this. Abkhazia is a country with a very rich history, which has a long-standing statehood. In modern history, we have gained our statehood and independence through the lives of thousands of people in the Georgian-Abkhaz war. This is our rightness today; the world must hear, understand and accept. And we are actively working on this.

Sergey Lavrov's visit to Abkhazia

The reason for the visit to Abkhazia by Sergey Lavrov was the opening of the complex of buildings of the Embassy of the Russian Federation. The significance of this event cannot be overestimated. This is a new evidence of friendly and allied relations between our countries. The Russian Foreign Ministry supports us in all matters. From the Agreement on Alliance and Strategic Partnership, signed in 2014, there are many additional points that need to be discussed. Therefore, both sides took the opportunity to discuss them. In particular, the issues of regulating the procedure for obtaining dual citizenship, improving the capacity of the check point along the Psou River, further recognition of Abkhazia by the international community, Complex Financing Plan and some social issues were touched upon. It should be noted that across the spectrum of the identified problems, we meet with understanding and assistance from the Russian side.

At the meeting, the Agreement on the simplified procedure for obtaining Russian citizenship was discussed in detail. The possibility of crossing the Russian border by the residents of Abkhazia with internal Abkhaz passports was also considered. At the moment, this agreement is already being discussed with the Russian side, and in the near future the issue will be resolved. As a result, all citizens of Abkhazia will be able to cross the border with Russia on internal passports of a new model.

The reaction of Georgia on the visit of Sergey Lavrov to Abkhazia remains the same. The rhetoric of the Georgian authorities does not change. Nevertheless, we do not cease periodically to remind our neighbors and their partners in the West that it is time to accept the existing reality. In the Georgian society, the relevance of the issue of the status of Abkhazia is decreasing every year, but the authorities are not tired of raising this issue in order to distract the people from social problems. We are strengthening contacts with friendly republics and states that recognized us, which opens us the possibility of finding new friends and forming a positive image of the country in the international arena. Tedious work is conducted daily. All this is done by the forces of Abkhaz diplomacy. We deliberately do not advertise certain moments of our work so that our enemies cannot block them. Friends appear, they understand and share our position, but there are certain moments connected with the international agenda, when friends cannot reach the moment of recognition. But this, I will say so, is a matter of time.

The issue of dual citizenship

The issues of developing mechanisms for granting Russian citizenship in a simplified manner and the possibility of signing an agreement on dual citizenship were the first on the agenda at the meeting of President Raul Khadzhimba and Sergey Lavrov. At the moment, the draft Agreement is being coordinated with all interested bodies of state administration of the Republic of Abkhazia. After completion of the approvals, the draft Agreement will be sent to the Parliament of the Republic of Abkhazia. I would like to make some clarifications on the essence of this document.

The agreement on the settlement of issues of dual citizenship provides for the acquisition of citizenship on the basis of the free will of a citizen, without the loss of his citizenship, on the terms and in the order established by the legislation of the state whose citizenship is acquired. This provision is enshrined in Article 8 of the Agreement on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between the Republic of Abkhazia and the Russian Federation of September 17, 2008, on the basis of which the Agreement on the settlement of issues of dual citizenship is signed.

In accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Abkhazia, the acquisition of citizenship is carried out both in general and in a simplified manner. When applying for citizenship in a general manner and this is what the text of the Agreement implies, it is necessary to observe a number of requirements, such as: speaking the state language, knowledge of the Constitution, oath of a citizen of the Republic of Abkhazia and other requirements provided by the current legislation of the Republic of Abkhazia.

This Agreement creates for us many positive opportunities, and it, first of all, is necessary for us. It presupposes the observance of the interests of our citizens. It must be accepted and signed. There are no fears and risks for our people in it. No one is imposing it on us.

Visa-free regime of Georgia with the European Union and "Prayer breakfast" in the USA

The visa-free regime with the EU, which the Georgian authorities offer to the residents of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, is another adventure. The Georgian bait, which assumes the spread of the pseudo-attractive visa-free regime of Georgia with the EU countries to the "occupied territories", is doomed to failure. The citizens of Abkhazia survived the bloody war, unbearable conditions of the blockade and managed to build a free independent state, they will not go on such an adventure. But a permanent obstacle to international contacts of our citizens demonstrates the special "benevolence" of the Georgian leadership towards our people. The fate of our representative in the Republic of Turkey, which has not yet been resolved, is no exception. There lives a large Abkhaz Diaspora and, naturally, we take this moment into account. We maintain relations with our Diaspora. If we talk about relations with the official circles of Turkey, then we do not have them because of the absence of diplomatic relations between our republics. Therefore, we focus on the Diaspora, but we are ready to communicate our position to everyone. The Republic of Turkey is a neighboring state and, of course, it is necessary to maintain a dialogue with its neighbors.

Today we have embassies in the Russian Federation, Venezuela, South Ossetia and Transnistria, as well as representations in Turkey and Germany. We have the idea of ​​consolidating our entire European Diaspora, which is now scattered. We want to unify their intentions, breathe life into them and establish contacts that were developed earlier under the aegis of the International Abkhaz-Abazin Congress.

Not so long ago I received an official invitation from two US senators to an event called "National Prayer Breakfast", in which the US President also participates. It is held annually in early February. Over three thousand people gather for it - presidents, ministers, senators, deputies ... Having an invitation, I submitted documents to the American embassy. But they did not give me a visa.

To this day we are in isolation; we do not have an airport or a seaport. All this is the result of those sanctions that the world community imposes on us. This, of course, generally negatively affects the development of the economy, but today, thanks to the support of the Russian Federation, we systematically move forward, developing the economy and social sphere of our state.

We need to detail in the press all important foreign policy acts, so that representatives of the world community have access to truthful information about the situation in the republic. In addition, the Co-chairs of the Geneva discussions are discussing the possibility of participation of Abkhaz journalists at the Geneva site.

Source: "Republic of Abkhazia" newspaper

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