Russia lawmakers recognizes Georgia rebel regions
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian lawmakers urged the Kremlin to recognize two rebel regions of Georgia on Monday, a move likely to worsen relations with the West that are already strained by Moscow’s military intervention there.
USS McFaul anchors at Georgia’s Black Sea port of Batumi, as seen from the deck of a Georgian naval boat, August 24, 2008.
The upper house of parliament, or Federation Council, voted 130-0 to approve a non-binding resolution calling on President Dmitry Medvedev to recognize the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent.
Georgia and Russia fought a brief war earlier this month over South Ossetia after Tbilisi sent in troops to try to retake the province by force, provoking a massive counter-attack by land, sea and air from Moscow.
“Today it is clear that after Georgia’s aggression against South Ossetia, Georgian-South-Ossetian and Georgian-Abkhazian relations cannot be returned to their former state,” upper house speaker Sergei Mironov said during the debate.
“The peoples of South Ossetia and Abkhazia have the right to get independence”.
The lower house, or State Duma, was due to approve a similar resolution later in the day.
The resolutions could either signal Medvedev’s intentions or be intended to strengthen his hand as he negotiates the status of Russian forces in Georgia with the West.
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