Venezuela recognizes Abkhazia, South Ossetia as independent states

Venezuela recognizes Abkhazia, South Ossetia as independent states

MOSCOW, Sept. 10  — Venezuela recognizes the independence of Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Thursday.

    "Venezuela joins the recognition of the independent republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia," Chavez, who is on a two-day visit to Russia, said during talks with Medvedev in his residence near Moscow.

    "We recognize both republics starting from today," Chavez was quoted as saying by Interfax news agency.

    Medvedev thanked Chavez for recognizing the Georgian rebel regions, which broke away from Tbilisi’s rule during a war in the early 1990s.

    "Thank you Hugo, you have made a whole set of serious, important statements," Medvedev said.

    Russia and Georgia fought a five-day war in August last year, when Georgia attacked South Ossetia to try to retake the renegade region that borders Russia. In response, Moscow sent in troops to drive Georgian forces out of the region.

    Russia recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states two weeks after the conflict ended.

    Venezuela is the third country to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia after Russia and Nicaragua.

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