Georgia formally breaks ties with Russia (Lead, Changing Dateline)

September 2nd, 2008 - 11:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Tbilisi, Sep 2 (Xinhua) Georgia Tuesday formally severed diplomatic ties with Russia in protest against Moscow’s recognition of two Georgian breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent nations, the foreign ministry said. The ministry said in a statement that it summoned Russia’s envoy in Georgia, Andrei Smaga, and handed him a note informing Russia of Tbilisi’s decision to severe diplomatic ties with Moscow in light of “Russia’s hostile actions”.

However, Georgia will maintain consular relations with Russia, it said.

Under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, breaking off diplomatic ties does not automatically terminate consular relations.

The Georgian foreign ministry’s note required the Russian embassy in Georgia to stop its work Wednesday, the Itar-Tass news agency reported.

Moscow last week recognised Georgia’s breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states after a military conflict with Georgia in early August.

The conflict ended with a ceasefire agreement between Tbilisi and Moscow brokered by France.

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