Abkhazia, South Ossetia no precedents for other rebel regions: Russia

September 18th, 2008 - 5:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Sep 18 (RIA Novosti) Russia Thursday said its recognition of Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states does not set a precedent for other post-Soviet breakaway regions.”Unlike Georgia, other ex-Soviet states involved in territorial disputes do not plan to use military force to resolve them. There can be no parallels here,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

Moscow said its counterattack following Georgia’s offensive to retake South Ossetia in early August and the subsequent recognition of the two breakaway regions’ independence were its moral duty and necessary to protect them from possible new acts of aggression.

The majority of Western states have sided with Tbilisi in the dispute, and strongly criticized Russia.

Lavrov said Russia is committed to its mediation efforts in disputes between Moldova and its breakaway Transdnestr region, mainly populated by ethnic Russians and Ukrainians, and Armenia-Azerbaijan talks on the disputed Nagorny Karabakh territory.

“Russia will actively promote peaceful solutions to all the conflicts in the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) in line with international law and UN Charter,” he said. “We will pursue our mediation in peace talks, including over Transdnestr and Nagorny Karabakh.”

“None of the sides engaged in the Nagorny Karabakh and Transdnestr talks has nurtured plans to violate international law, existing agreements, the settlement format and to bomb civilians and peacekeepers,” Lavrov said.

Russia signed formal cooperation treaties with Abkhazia and South Ossetia Wednesday promising military and economic aid to the regions.

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