10 June 2009
Daniel Satinsky Panelist at ABA Spring Meeting on South Ossetia and Abkhazia Independence
Daniel Satinsky Panelist at ABA
Spring Meeting on South Ossetia and Abkhazia Independence
Panel Discussion, Europe - Russia Forum,
Vilnius, Lithuania, March 23 - 24, 2006.
[Left to Right] Johan Vanderplaetse,
Alcatel Russia; Daniel Satinsky; Andrei
Korotkov, Vneshtorgbank; and Nikolai
Puntikov, Starsoft Development Labs.
As a consequence of the Georgia - Russia conflict in August 2009, Russia recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent countries. In some sense, this recognition was also a consequence of Western recognition of Kosovo as an independent country.
The spring meeting of the American Bar Association Section of International Law considered the legal basis for independence at its 2009 spring meeting on April 16 in Washington, D.C.
Daniel Satinsky, President of B.E.A. Associates, was invited to present the Russian position as part of a panel entitled "Kosovo, South Ossetia, Tibet and the Shifting Standards for Self-Determination." The panel was moderated by Professor Howard Fenton of Ohio Northern University College of Law and the panelists included Professor Julie Mertus of American University, Ms. Anna Dolidze, currently a scholar at Cornell and formerly President of the Georgia Young Lawyers and Mr. Nima Taylor, board member of the Tibet Justice Center.
The general theme of Satinsky's presentation was an examination of the facts of the long-standing dispute over independence between South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Georgia and an application of the principles of the Helsinki Accords and the UN Charter to these fact. The conclusion supported Russia's recognition of both South Ossetia and Abkhazia as sufficiently supported in international law. Further, the presentation took the position that there is no significant factual or legal difference between the justification for recognition of these two countries as independent and the rationale for independence of Kosovo. Although not speaking on behalf of the Russian government, Satinsky did consult the Russian Embassy and various Russian experts for background information. As might be expected there was a vigorous discussion both among the panelists and with the audience, but it was a discussion that took place within the spirit of respectful debate and disagreement. The PowerPoint outline of the presentation is available online.