Dear participants of the International conference! Dear guests!
This forum has a deep symbolic meaning. It is especially significant because it is dedicated to an outstanding political event – the 10th anniversary of the recognition of the independence of the Republic of Abkhazia. This event started an entirely new level of development of the Abkhazian-Russian relations. I am immensely happy to greet famous politicians, academics, social activists, and parliamentarians whose objective views and thoughts about modern problems, in particular, the situation in Abkhazia, have been helping us for many years.
“I think that sooner or later we will live to see the moment when Russia will recognise the independence of Abkhazia. And this will happen not because of some political circles, but because of the initiative of the leadership of Russia”, - remarked the First President of our Republic Vladislav Ardzinba who stood at the origins of the national movement of liberation and the revival of our statehood. On these days, we once again look back at the events of August 2008. The efforts of some Western politicians are fruitless as they try to gloss over the facts of open genocidal intentions of Georgia in South Ossetia.
The story preceding the recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is a unique chronicle of events that deserves closer research on the part of historians, political scientists and conflict resolution specialists. I think that the work in this field is starting to gain momentum at this stage, when time and experience can give us enough reasons for a more large-scale and multifaceted cause and effect assessment of the events in the Caucasus. I do not doubt that Abkhazian political scientists and historians will participate productively in this process, as their academic research is of certain interest not only in our state but also abroad.
Then, the leaders of Russia Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev and Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin had to make difficult and responsible political decisions that determined the future destiny of two brotherly nations. In the situation that took place then, they acted clearly, consistently and adequately. They were deeply aware of the fact that such decisive actions can cause negative political consequences. Yet in those days, the protection of small nations whose existence was under threat, the security of Russian citizens, peace and stability in the region were more important than anything else.
The Presidents of Abkhazia and South Ossetia Sergei Bagapsh and Eduard Kokoyty made a significant contribution to the preparation and implementation of these fateful agreements. The heavy burden of responsibility for the future development of events was on their shoulders.
International recognition gave our state a rare chance to have an even greater and more confident political and legal self-assertion. Agreements, international treaties and other political and legal agreements that have been concluded and implemented in this relatively short period of time gave a powerful impulse to the process of political and economic revival of Abkhazia, the strengthening of its security, the restoration of a full cultural, educational and informational space between our states which was interrupted by the military aggression of Georgia against Abkhazia and its destructive consequences. Decrees, regulations and other important legal acts concerning the Republic of Abkhazia that have been signed by V. V. Putin from the end of the 1990s, when our state was forced to survive in conditions of international isolation, opened up the way to the restoration of our statehood on the basis of centuries of historical experience.
“We have many things to discuss but the most important thing is that we have special, absolutely special relations with Abkhazia. We guarantee the security and independence of Abkhazia. I am certain that it will stay this way”, - remarked the President of Russia at the meeting in Pitsunda on August 8, 2017.
I see these words as a strategy for our further interaction, as a carefully considered ideological promise of our cooperation in the future.
I am certain that many of our citizens see our future on the basis of such an objective assessment of the positive experience of the co-existence of two friendly states.
As you know, this year we will celebrate another national holiday: the 25th anniversary of victory and independence of the Republic of Abkhazia. Often, one can hear the words that are filled with the truth that has been suffered by our nation: if there was no independence, there would not have been any recognition. It is true that the path to independence was long and difficult.
Thousands of brave sons and daughters of Abkhazia, our compatriots from abroad, valiant volunteers from the North Caucasus, Moscow and Saint Petersburg, many cities and regions of Russia sacrificed their lives for freedom. Their heroic deeds opened the way to independence and international recognition of Abkhazia. Eternal memory to the heroes! Peace and prosperity to the Republic of Abkhazia and the Republic of South Ossetia! Growth and new victories to the Russian Federation – our ally and strategic partner!
I wish a festive mood and creative achievements to all of you, dear participants of the anniversary International conference!