- Russia Demands Access to PACE for Abkhazia, S.Ossetia
- NATO: Russia Must Revise Recognition of Abkhazia, S.Ossetia
- Medvedev Pledges Full Support to South Ossetia
- Georgia Protests S. Ossetia Border Delimitation
MOSCOW, August 25 (RIA Novosti) – The West is still applying “double standards” in its position on the international status of the breakaway Georgian provinces of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Russia’s Foreign Minister said in televised remarks Sunday.
“Our Western partners – along with some other countries – are still strongly biased in regard to the republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia,” Sergei Lavrov told the Abkhazian state television and radio company.
Russia routed Georgian forces in a brief August 2008 war over South Ossetia and subsequently recognized the province as independent, along with the nearby Abkhazia. Only Venezuela, Nicaragua, Vanuatu, Nauru and Tuvalu followed suit by recognizing the province’s independence.
Lavrov said that Moscow hails Abkhazia’s contacts with the nations that recognized its independence.
“We welcome it and think that the number of these nations will increase,” he said.
About 70 Russian troops and 160 South Ossetians were killed during the brief war, Moscow said at the time. Tbilisi estimated its death toll at some 400.
The presence of Russian troops in South Ossetia and Abkhazia after the war caused relations between Moscow and the West to sink to a post-Cold War low.
Both provinces broke away from the central Georgian government during armed conflicts in the early 1990s and their status has been up in the air ever since.
Relations between Russia and Georgia were severely damaged by the conflict, with the two countries cutting diplomatic ties and Georgia pulling out of the Commonwealth of Independent States, a loose grouping of former Soviet republics.
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