Vanuatu denies having recognized Abkhazia
By Messenger Staff
Monday, June 6The Pacific island of Vanuatu has not recognized Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia as an independent state, Georgia’s UN Ambassador Alexandre Lomaia told journalists, citing Vanuatu’s Ambassador to UN Donald Kalpokas. “I contacted my government, head of the Foreign Ministry in particular. I asked about Abkhazia and he told me that Vanuatu has made no decision about it. I contacted him again and he said the same, that the country has not recognized independence of Abkhazia,” Rustavi 2 TV company quoted Kalpokas as saying “We recognize Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, we have good relations with Georgia and think that we will soon establish diplomatic relations with Tbilisi.”
Last week the de facto Abkhazian Foreign Minister, Maxim Ghvinjia said that the Republic of Vanuatu recognized Abkhazia as an independent state following Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Nauru. “We’ve managed to reach recognition from the Republic of Vanuatu and we are very happy about it,” Ghvinjia told Russian journalists “If there was no open pressure from the US and the Western European states, much more countries would have recognized Abkhazia,” he added, hailing Vanuatu as a “bold, independent state”.
Georgia’s UN ambassador said the Georgian side knew that the claim of the de facto officials were a “falsification.” “Vanuatu’s Ambassador is our friend and experienced diplomat. He’s been representing his country at the UN for several years. Our aim is to consistently build relations with all UN member states, Vanuatu is one of those friendly states, with which Georgia is building relations,” Alexandre Lomaia said.
Georgian officials have suggested that in return for their recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states, Russia is paying states like Nicaragua, Venezuela and Nauru. According to the data released by the Russian newspaper the Kommersant, Moscow has spent USD 3.25 billion in total in return to the recognition of Georgia’s breakaway regions by paying USD 2.2 billion to Venezuela, USD 1 billion to Nicaragua and USD 50 million to Nauru.