Does Abkhazia have the necessary and sufficient requirements for its existence as an independent state and for its sovereignty? In respect of the stated­ material, it is necessary to express unequivocally that the following  preconditions exist and also prove to be valid:

a) The presence of its own nationality, characterised by its own language not having any analogues in the world  except for related languages met only among the peoples of the North Caucasus; the national identity is an indicator of  who a person considers himself to be, and to which ethnos he refers himself;

b) The fact of existence of the indigenous population “Abkhazians” or their ancestors from II-I millenia BC, confirmed by chronicles from V century BC and ­ historical annals from VIII century AD. Developed contacts not only with neighbouring states,­ but also with the countries of the Mediterranean, Persia, Golden Horde­­ etc., have documentary proof;

c) Statehood confirmed by historical data from the end ­ of the first millenium B.C.;

d) Presence of original Abkhazian language and culture, ­ generated throughout several millenia, and use ­ of different writing methods, since the early Middle Ages: for contacts with Byzantium, the Greek alphabet was used; with Romans, Latin; during the existence of the Abkhazian kingdom the Hutsuri alphabet, which was accepted in Iberia, was used. Later, from XIX century till now, Cyrillics have been constantly used;

e) Constant struggle throughout the last two centuries against ­genocide by Georgia, directed towards artificial change of ethno-demographic conditions in the country; this artificial demographic imbalance allowed Georgia to accomplish annexation.

These, as well as other criteria and signs necessary for self-determination, show that the Abkhazian people have every right to state independence and sovereignty.

There is an opinion that one of the conditions for the right of people to ­ self-determination is their number. But this is not true. In table 3 below, states are presented which are not only sovereign, but are also included in the Council of Europe, and whose population, including the basic ethnos, is the same, or even smaller, than that of the Republic of Abkhazia.

Table 3

Small member states of the Council of Europe

    Population and area of some Council of Europe member states in comparison with Abkhazia20