• Putin sought a clearer demonstration of loyalty from Lukashenka in Sochi.

  • Lukashenko does not want to recognize the results of the Russian quasi-referendums in Ukraine, a trip to Abkhazia is a substitute for this recognition.

  • The Belarusian authorities make it clear that the fact of a visit does not result in automatic recognition de facto and even more so de jure.

  • Tbilisi's reaction to Lukashenka's trip to Abkhazia was very sharp, but without severing diplomatic relations.

  • A concession on the issue of recognition of Abkhazia's independence may entail the recognition of other territorial changes that do not comply with international law.

Since 2008, when Abkhazia declared independence and Russia recognized it, Lukashenka avoided recognizing this self-proclaimed republic and public contacts with its leadership.

But it seems that in the new political reality of Russian mobilization and quasi-referendums in 4 Ukrainian regions, it is no longer possible to evade and balance.

It seems that during the negotiations in Sochi, Putin demanded from Lukashenka a clearer demonstration of loyalty and allied relations in the new situation - whether to enter the war or to recognize the results of quasi-referendums.

Since Lukashenka did not want to do either, the idea of ​​a trip to Abkhazia arose.

Perhaps Lukashenka proposed it.

They say, we are not ready to fight yet, recognizing Ukrainian lands as Russian is the way to war, for which we are not ready again, but let's start the process of recognizing Abkhazia.

We did not start before, but now we will start, we understand the new situation.

However, Putin could also offer, saying, you can't do that, you are not ready for it, so at least do something, show that you are real allies.

Although recognize Abkhazia, for example.

At the same time, Putin could count on the psychological mechanism of the precedent, embodied in the proverb "a claw is pinched - all the birds die."

Belarus recognizes Abkhazia, which it has not recognized for 14 years, and then, later it will recognize everything else that is needed.

The calculation is not unreasonable.

But some details of the visit make it unclear that there will even be an official recognition.

Lukashenka praised Abkhazia, promised cooperation, but there was no announcement of urbi et orbi regarding diplomatic recognition from him.

It should also be noted that during the visit, including during the negotiations with the leadership of the self-proclaimed republic, the Belarusian state symbols, which Lukashenko is usually very fond of, did not appear anywhere.

BelTA provided information about his visit under the strange headline "Lukashenka visited the historical places of the north-eastern coast of the Black Sea and met with Aslan Bzhania".

The state information agency managed not to specify which state these "historical places" belong to and who is the mysterious Mr. Bzhaniya, so that they could meet him.

Such demonstrative uncertainty is a sign that for the Belarusian authorities, the fact of the visit does not automatically result in the official recognition of Abkhazia's independence.

Belarusian specialist in international law

Kateryna Dziakala

explained on her Facebook page that there are three forms of international recognition - de jure, de facto and ad hoc.

De jure recognition involves the establishment of diplomatic relations, de facto recognition of "characteristic systematic relations in separate spheres with the conclusion of agreements in these spheres", ad hoc recognition — recognition for a specific case, for the implementation of a specific community project, agreement.

Not an example, but an analogy with ad hoc recognition can be given by the phone calls of German Chancellor

Angela Merkel

to Lukashenka during the migration crisis.

A problem has arisen, to solve it, you can talk to a person whom you do not consider a legitimate head of state, with whom, however, the problem is connected.

The problem was solved - the calls stopped.

Undoubtedly, Lukashenka's visit to Pitsunda can be the beginning, the first step towards de facto recognition (during the visit he talked about cooperation in the future) and even de jure recognition.

Vladimir Putin's press secretary

Dmitri Peskov

said that the Kremlin expects that "Belarusian comrades will make a relevant decision on their own and for them in a timely manner."

This was said both regarding the recognition of Abkhazia's independence and the Russian annexation of Crimea.

But judging by BelTA's report, the Belarusian authorities interpret the visit rather as an ad hoc recognition.

However, in this case it is not clear what is the reason, the specific agreement for which the visit was made.

Ideally, for Lukashenka, this "agreement" is a demonstration to the Kremlin of the first step towards recognition.

Which, again ideally, could be the last.

Apparently, these gestures are understood in Tbilisi.

By the way, it is possible that some kind of understanding with the Georgian authorities was reached in advance.

The Georgian reaction to Lukashenka's trip to the separatist region was very sharp.

But no irreversible steps were taken, there was no talk of severing diplomatic relations.

Tbilisi understands the difference between ad hoc and de jure recognition, as well as Lukashenka's game.

He raises the price of his full recognition of the independence of Abkhazia in order not to recognize the results of the Russian quasi-referendums in Ukraine and not to fight.

As the former Georgian Minister of Reconciliation and Civil Equality

, Paat Zakareishvili,

said in an interview with Svaboda, "if a choice arises in Belarus: either a war in Ukraine or the recognition of Abkhazia's independence, if Russia has set such a condition for Lukashenko, of course he will choose the easier way, as recognition of the independence of Abkhazia".

The recognition of Abkhazia's independence is a bad step in itself, it is a rejection of the previous long-term policy, falling into even greater dependence on Russia, hatred of Belarus (and Belarusians, unfortunately) of another nation.

Besides, the psychological and political mechanism of precedent really exists.

Having conceded in one, it is more difficult to refuse further concessions.

And the first step on this path has already been taken.

But still the only one.

The opinions expressed in the blogs represent the views of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position.