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Minsk ‘Pressed’ by Russia over Abkhazia, S.Ossetia – Tbilisi
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 2 Feb.'09 / 14:52

Although Russia exerts pressure on Belarus to recognize independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Tbilisi hopes Minsk will not follow Moscow’s suit, Davit Jalagonia, the Georgian deputy foreign minister, said on February 2.

“We understand how much the Belarus authorities are pressed by Russia,” he told journalists. “The Georgian side is watching such situation with concern… [Recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia] will be considered as an unfriendly move by Belarus. But we hope that Belarus will have enough bravery and sense of impartiality and fairness to take a proper decision.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in the interview with Apsnipress news agency, which was published on February 1 that recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is a sovereign right of each state.

“Of course, we are interested that our partners take this step – they know about it well, but we cannot and will not exert any pressure on them,” Lavrov said.

Only Nicaragua has followed the Russia’s suit and recognized two breakaway regions.

Alexander Lukashenko, the president of Belarus, said in late August that Russia had “no other moral option,” other than to recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

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