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Abkhazia relies on Russia for its security and economic survival, so support for Russia is reasonably widespread. While these events may not have had anything to do with Abkhazia's orientation toward Russia, Abkhazia – like southern and eastern Ukraine – is a place where instability is good for Russia and bad for pro-Western governments in Tbilisi or Kiev.The new leadership of Abkhazia may create more trouble with Georgia through skirmishes or tensions across the nonborder between the two polities, or by harassing the remaining ethnic Georgians who live in Abkhazia.Six years ago, Russia invaded Georgia, not least because NATO pledged that Georgia would eventually become a member.Russia's enormous influence in Abkhazia is exacerbated by the West's policy of ignoring internal politics in Abkhazia.At a moment of instability and potential change in Abkhazia, the West had no way to influence outcomes and almost no relationships with important actors in the political or civic life of Abkhazia.
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