Results of Russian Occupation and Economic Crisis in Georgia's Conflict Areas in the Case of Abkhazia

Results of Russian Occupation and Economic Crisis in Georgia's Conflict Areas in the Case of Abkhazia

Bondo Nikoloz Gasviani (Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Georgia), Tinatin Zhorzholiani (Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Georgia), and Teimuraz Shengelia (Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Georgia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8911-3.ch016
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The present study analyzes the historical background of the formation of the Abkhazian economy and geographical-resource potential and the economic situation of Abkhazia before and after the Russian-Georgian war of 1991-1992. Special attention was paid to the recognition of the international status of the Republic of Abkhazia by the Russian Federation, in gross violation of international norms, the results of which did not have a significant positive impact on the economic or social well-being of the local population. However, it confirmed Russia's imperialist intentions concerning occupation of Georgian territory with the status of “peacemaker” in 1992-1993 and the fact of misleading the international community. In the chapter, the criminal nature of the economy of occupied Abkhazia is substantiated. Also, the chapter analyzes the mechanisms/levers of economic pressure management in the Russian-occupied territory and its negative consequences for the population living in the area.
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Abkhazia is a historical-geographical part of Georgia, and It is an internationally recognized and proven fact. The territory of Abkhazia is occupied by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation after the Russia-Georgia war of 1992-1993, this territory of Georgia is ruled by the puppet de facto government and the Russian imperialist forces. After its “rebuilding” in 1985, the open national liberation movement for the independence of Georgia has begun, which was acutely opposed by the Soviet leadership. This caused the activation of the Abkhaz separatist movement by Russia. Based on the results of the March 31, 1991 referendum, elections were held throughout Georgia. On April 9, 1991, the Supreme Council adopted a declaration on the restoration of Georgia's state independence on the basis of the Georgian Independence Act of May 26, 1918. This situation intensified Russian aggression even more. The most active and potentially successful part of the population, as a result of Russian aggression and occupation of the territory, found themselves outside its borders. Half of Abkhazia’s prewar population consisted of ethnic Georgians. According to the last Soviet census in 1989, there were 240,000 Georgians among a total population of 525,000 people, most of whom were violently displaced or fled at the end of the war in 1993. Currently around 50,000 Georgians remain in the Gali region of eastern Abkhazia around one-fifth of the population of Abkhazia but they are in many ways second class citizens, who also travel back and forth to the western Georgian region of Samegrelo. As a result of the Russian-Georgian war in Abkhazia, both sides suffered significant losses, and the ethnic Georgian majority in Abkhazia, as well as many Russians, Greeks, and Estonians, were forced to flee the region for fear of physical destruction and genocide. Serious problems arose in connection with the economic, physical and psychological rehabilitation of the rest of the population in Abkhazia.

In 2008, Abkhazia's independence was recognized by the Russian Federation, in gross violation of international law, and in exchange for various deals with it, Nicaragua and Nauru. This enabled Russian Federation to carry out the economic annexation of the population living in the occupied territories using various levers. The existence of the Soviet Union as an empire became possible thanks to the creation of a unified national economic complex, which connected all regions of the country with an economic organism, any element of which could not exist in isolation from its integrity. This policy had a significant impact on the socio-economic development of Abkhazia, which fed the Soviet empire with colonial cultures. The current socio-economic situation in Abkhazia is due to the unsuccessful transformation associated with the transition to a market economy that coincided with the Russia-Georgia war (1992-1993) which caused great material damage to the national economy of the Autonomous Republic. The recovery of the economy was hampered by sanctions imposed by the CIS countries in January 1996, the most difficult of which was the closure of transport links with Russia (in 1995, a ban on passenger and cargo ships was imposed). As a result of the war, traditional foreign economic relations were disrupted, and external sources of funding became inaccessible. The main task has become not economic development in occupied Abkhazia, but ensuring the survival of the remaining population.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Economic Development: Is the creation of wealth from which community benefits are realized.

Economic Expansion: An increase in the level of economic activity, and of the goods and services available.

Conflict Area: A region where conflict is prevalent.

Investment Attraction: The act of facilitating growth to the local economy through encouraging expansion of the existing businesses and generating flow of new capital to the City of Melton from external sources.

Investment Climate: Refers to the economic conditions that dictate whether individuals, banks and institutions are willing to lend money and invest.

Economic Crisis: A sharp deterioration in the economic state of the country, manifested in a significant decline in production; violation of existing production relations; bankruptcy of enterprises; and rising unemployment.

Foreign Trade: The mutual exchange of services or goods between international regions and borders.

Abkhazia: Is a partially recognized state in the south Caucasus, recognized by most countries as part of Georgia, which views the region as an autonomous republic.

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