Chiora Taktakishvili, Member of the United National Movement, stated at the plenary session on 15 May 2013: "According to international law, a particular person does not start a war. I understand that you have hatred and aggression towards the President, but this will eventually cause charging Georgia with starting the war. This implies that Georgia will have an obligation to recognise the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia."


wondered whether or not charging Georgia with starting the war in fact creates an obligation for the state to recognise the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

James Richard Crawford, an expert in the field of public international law at the University of Cambridge, notes the following in his book The Criteria for Statehood in International Law:

According to international law, the act of the state to independently recognise any territorial entity constitutes a political decision of a state/states and not a legal obligation.

International law obliges states not to recognise the independence of such territorial entities that were created with the breach of the norms of international law; recognition of such a territorial entity by a third country constitutes an illegal interference in the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the affected country that is contrary to the fundamental principles of the UN Charter.

The majority of experts of international law consider statehood status of the territorial entity [subject of international law] as independent from the act of recognition and the criteria for statehood. This implies the possibility that a state or states may recognise the independence of a territorial entity, but according to international law, only recognition itself is not enough for a territorial entity to become an independent, sovereign state and acquire the status of a subject of international law.

However, there is an exceptional case when the international community with recognition as a political decision established a state - Kosovo, which did not meet the criteria for statehood under international law.

It should be noted that the context of the dissolution of Yugoslavia, massive human rights violations committed against the people of Kosovo, ethnic cleansing and genocide served as basis for the recognition of Kosovo as an independent state.

The historic events in Kosovo made more than 80 states to recognise the independence of this territorial entity.

Even in the case "Georgia started the war against its own people," obligation cannot be imposed on Georgia to recognise the independence of a territorial entity (South Ossetia, Abkhazia). However, based on the case of Kosovo, hypothetical assumption could be made that if the fact is proven that Georgia committed aggression against South Ossetia and Abkhazia, eventually the issue of recognising the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia by the international community can be put on the agenda.


There is no norm in the doctrine of international law that obliges the state which started the war to recognise the independence of its territorial entities. However, there is a case when a territorial entity (Kosovo) gained independence without recognition from its mother country (Serbia).

Based on the legal research we conducted, we rate MP Chiora Taktakishvili’s statement: “[If ] Georgia will be charged with starting the war. It means that Georgia will have an obligation to recognise the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia,” FALSE.


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