Friday, November 30, 2007

Saltzman and "frozen conflicts"

The session on frozen conflicts just ended. I was struck by how similar the complaints of the Georgians are with those of the Serbs--the claim put forward that while the Georgians are prepared to entertain all sorts of compromises, the only demand they receive from the Abkhaz side is to recognize independence--and that this does not result in real negotiations between both sides.

I asked whether the model for resolving the frozen conflicts of the Caucasus will be more "Kosovo"--setting a defined timetable and with a solution imposed if one cannot be negotiated--or more "Cyprus"--where a de fact separation occurs and the status quo remains frozen for decades. The response about finding a "middle" I found somewhat unsatisfying, especially the argument that I have heard already from USG sources, that Abkhaz and South Ossetians will want to voluntarily reunify with Georgia (on Georgian terms?) if Georgia becomes a prosperous state. That was the EU gamble with Cyprus, right--that who wouldn't want to rejoin a rich, prosperous Cyprus entering the EU--but the problem was the terms. I suspect that there might be some Ossetians and Abkhaz who would accept this deal--and the Sankoyev government in the part of South Ossetia that is linked to the Tbilisi government shows this--but that others would be prepared to be "poor but free."

The democracy panel is next.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?