Friday, October 20, 2023

Fate of Post-Russian Successor States will Depend Heavily on Whether and How They Gain International Recognition, Sidorov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Oct. 16 – The fate of any post-Russian successor states will depend heavily on whether they are recognized or not by the other members of the international community, Vadim Sidorov says. If they gain such recognition, they are likely to survive; if they don’t, they won’t even if they are able to hold on for a decade or more.

            In remarks to the Eighth Forum of Free Countries of Post-Russia in Paris earlier this month, the head of the Prague Ostropa Center says that recent events in the South Caucasus are instructive: Azerbaijan had international recognition from the outset while Artsakh never attained it and has now been reabsorbed by Baku (

            Obviously, other factors were at work in this case and will be in a post-Russia situation, Sidorov says; but it should be clear to all that “without the recognition of their status” as independent states by the international community, the stable long-term existence” of these states “will be in question” eventually if not immediately.

            There are three possibilities for these emergent states: first, their legal status could be determined by an international conference on a defeated Russian Federation that would come up with a list of new countries and borders; second, they could acquire independence on a state by state basis; or third, they could retain de facto independence if a weakened Moscow acknowledged that in exchange for international recognition of its de jure borders.

            It should be obvious that the second and third of these options will be unstable, while the first looks to be “the most unlikely,” Sidorov says. But they are the options these emergent states will face and all of them must recognize now that if they remain “unrecognized ‘self-proclaimed states,’” they will be unlikely to survive.


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