Russia will support Georgia’s breakaway regions: PutinApril 4th, 2008 - 11:44 am ICT by admin
Moscow, April 4 (RIA Novosti) Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that Russia will provide all necessary support and assistance to Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Georgia is seeking to regain control of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which proclaimed independence after the break up of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Tbilisi accuses Moscow of encouraging separatism and interfering in its internal affairs.
“The Russian president stressed that Russia is not unsympathetic to the aspirations and problems of the two republics, where many Russian nationals live,” Russia’s foreign ministry in a statement quoted the president as saying.
Earlier, the presidents of the two breakaway republics expressed in a statement to Putin their concerns over the “aggressive approach of the Georgian authorities handling the situation in the conflict zones, building up of weapons and troops close to the borders of the (self-proclaimed) republics”.
The Russian president said Georgia’s attempts to resolve the situation by applying pressure on Abkhazia and South Ossetia are senseless.
“Any attempts to apply political, economic or military pressure on Abkhazia and South Ossetia are futile and counterproductive,” the ministry said citing Putin.
Sergei Bagapsh, the president of Abkhazia, said in an interview with RIA Novosti that Putin’s statement would “guarantee security for our republics”.
Two weeks ago the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, proposed that the president and the government consider the issue of whether to recognise the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
The self-proclaimed republics have stepped up their drive for independence after Kosovo’s declaration of independence Feb 17. Abkhazia and South Ossetia, along with Moldova’s Transdnestr, have since asked Russia’s parliament, the UN and other organisations to recognise their independence.
Peacekeeping in the Georgian-Abkhaz and Georgian-South Ossetian conflict zones are currently carried out by CIS (Common Wealth of Independent States) forces.
CIS was founded in 1991 after the break up of the Soviet Union by 11 of its former republics: Russia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova.