Predictably outgoing Russian President Vladimir Putin has moved to consolidate ties between his government and breakaway Republics Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia. The areas have enjoyed de facto autonomy since waging separatist wars against the Georgian government in the early 1990s. Majorities in both regions wish for independence from Georgia. In fact there is a striking similarity between these two separatist provinces and the Serbian province of Kosovo.
Unlike the US and other western states which have recognised Kosovo’s independence, Russia is doing so such thing. Putin’s government merely intends to increase cooperation with de facto governments. The United States and European Union have criticised any such moves because they undermine the sovereignty of Georgia. But this is the logical consequence of much more blatant disregard for Serbia’s sovereignty.