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Prof. Alexander Cooley on Western disregard for Georgian election in breakaway territory

In The New York Times, political science professor Alexander Cooley recently penned an opinion piece about the recent election in Georgian breakaway territory of Abkhazia, which was largely ignored by Western organizations and nations.  An excerpt:

"There were no international observers, no stern warnings to Abkhaz leaders about the rule of law, no Western congratulations to the winner — Alexander Ankvab, who had been acting president since Sergei Bagapsh, the twice-elected Abkhaz president, died suddenly in May.

In fact, many Western organizations, urged by Tbilisi, condemned the polling. Catherine Ashton, the European Union foreign policy chief, said the E.U. “does not recognize the constitutional and legal framework within which these elections have taken place,” while NATO declared that the alliance “does not recognize the elections.”"

Read the full article here.

Cooley is Tow Professor of Political Science at Barnard and a Faculty Member of Columbia’s Harriman Institute.  His research examines how external actors– including international organizations, aid donors, multinational companies, non-governmental organizations, and foreign military bases – have influenced the political and economic development of the former Soviet states, with a focus on Central Asia and the Caucasus.