Sunday, October 23, 2022

Eastern European and Baltic Countries May Follow Ukraine in Recognizing Ichkeria as ‘Temporarily Occupied,’ Mukhametov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Oct. 21 – It is no surprise that Ukraine is the first to recognize Ichkeria as temporarily occupied given the Russian invasion of that country as well as Ukraine’s long-standing connections with Chechnya, Rinat Mukhametov says; but other countries in Eastern Europe and the Baltics may soon follow suit.

            The analyst at the Council of Muftis of Russia (SMR) says that ties between Ukrainians and Chechens extend back to the 1940s and grew exponentially after 1991 when many Ukrainians went to fight for Ichkeria’s independence and many Chechens came to help Ukraine defend itself against Russia (

            But now that Ukraine has taken this step, other countries are likely to follow especially because as Mukhametov and other experts note, Kyiv’s move is a political move rather than a formal act of international recognition and thus can be taken with fewer risks than extending diplomatic relations to Ichkeria and its government in exile.

            Also working in favor of a Ukrainian-style move elsewhere, Mukhametov says, is that acting in this way avoids choosing among the various Chechen forces now opposed to the Kadyrov regime in Chechnya itself. At the same time, however, none of these other countries has the same level and intensity of ties between itself and Chechnya-Ichkeria.  

            In some ways, this recalls what happened in the Baltic countries in 1991. There was little willingness in Western countries to be the first to move, but after Iceland took the lead in recognizing the Lithuanian government in place -- the US had long recognized Lithuania as a country independent of Moscow but not the government in place in Vilnius -- others found it easier to do so.

No comments:

Post a Comment