Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Why we should recognise Abkhazia and South Ossetia

The Los Angeles Times reports:
The tiny Pacific island nation of Nauru, with its phosphate mines nearly depleted and without any other significant natural resources, has only one thing left to sell: its international reputation. Enter Russia, which is more than happy to buy.

That’s how Nauru this week became the fourth country to establish formal relations with Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The other three countries are Russia, Venezuela and Nicaragua. Unfortunately for the Kremlin, that’s all it has to show after 15 months lobbying its allies to recognize the two breakaway republics, which are trying to assert their independence from Georgia with Russia’s backing.

Russia insists it didn't provide incentives to Venezuela and Nicaragua in exchange for their support. Coincidentally, though, both nations subsequently signed big arms and energy deals with Moscow. The payment to Nauru seems to have been more direct. According to the Russian newspaper Kommersant, the country requested $50 million in economic aid in return for its diplomatic gesture.
The population of Nauru is 14,000, so that works out to $US3570 per person. Nice.

According to Statistics New Zealand, the population of New Zealand today is 4,345, 716. If Russia is prepared to pay us the same for each New Zealnder’s support as it is for each Nauruan’s – and why wouldn’t it? – that would bring in $US15.514 billion. The BNZ’s currency calculator has an exchange rate of 0.7444c today, so that comes to $20.84 billion in our money. Frankly, we could do with it.

So screw Georgia, which, let’s face, it hasn’t done much for us lately. Let’s recognise Abkhazia and South Ossetia and have a party on the proceeds.

Monitor: Steve Whitehouse

1 comment:

Pirateking said...

Come on, be fair. Georgia has given us some great songs, if nothing else. 'Georgia', obviously. 'Georgia on my mind', and the Beatles with 'Back in the USSR' -

'Moscow girls make me sing and shout
That Georgia's always on my mind'