Russia recognizes independence of Georgia’s rebel regions

August 26th, 2008 - 7:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Sochi (Russia), Aug 26 (DPA) Russian President Dmitry Medvedev Tuesday signed a decree recognizing the independence of Georgia’s rebel regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.”In the current crisis it became necessary to make a decision,” Medvedev said in a nationally televised statement Tuesday. “Taking into consideration the will of the people and guided by the UN Charter of 1970… and other basic international law, I have signed a decree recognizing Abkhazia and South Ossetia.”

“It is not an easy choice, but it is the only way to protect the lives of civilians,” the president said after meeting with Russia’s security chiefs.

Russia and Georgia fought a brief but bloody war over South Ossetia this month with Russia’s army moving deep into Georgia after repelling an offensive by Georgian troops to re-take its separatist region.

“On the night of August 8, Tbilisi had a choice: (Georgian President) Saakashvili opted for genocide… With this choice Saakashvili wiped out all hope of a peaceful coexistence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia under one government,” Medvedev said in the statement.

The Kremlin convened the security council at the president’s Black Sea residence in Sochi Tuesday to review a plea by Russia’s parliament for recognition of the two Georgian breakaway regions.

Russia’s powerful premier Vladimir Putin was also in attendance.

Medvedev’s recognition of the two regions that are internationally seen as part of Georgia is sure to deepen a rift in ties with the West already at their most critical point since the Cold War.

The US rebuked Russia’s parliament over the resolution Monday, saying it was “deeply concerned”.

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