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And Vanuatu Makes Five

The parliament of Vanuatu in Port Vila
The parliament of Vanuatu in Port Vila
Vanuatu, an island nation in the South Pacific that is a member of the United Nations, has clarified its position on Abkhazia -- recognition.

The confusion arose five days earlier when Vanuatu’s ambassador to the UN, Donald Kalpokas, denied that his government had recognized Abkhazia.

Alfred Carlot, Vanuatu’s foreign minister, clarified in a YouTube video that there is, in fact, recognition of Georgia’s breakaway region as of May 23, 2011. Vanuatu thus joins Nicaragua, Nauru, Venezuela, and, of course, Russia in establishing diplomatic relations with Abkhazia.

It has not been announced yet how Vanuatu (population: 243,307) will be represented in Abkhazia and how many diplomats will be stationed there. In comparison, Vanuatu’s representation at the United Nations, the global center of international diplomacy, consist of two diplomats, one of whom -- Kalpokas -- is a former prime minister.

Abkhazia and Vanuatu are approximately 14,000 kilometers apart and have no recorded history of trade or other commercial activities.

-- Nikola Krastev

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