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Russia's recognition over breakaway regions irreversible
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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Sunday he will not change the recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states, pledging military and economic aid to the two Georgian breakaway regions.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev attends a wreath-laying ceremony at the National Unity and Revival monument in Dushanbe August 29, 2008.[Xinhua/Reuters Photo] 

"The current task of Russia is the provision of peace and tranquillity. We have made a decision, and this decision is irreversible," local media quoted him as saying on Moscow's recognition over the self-proclaimed independence of the two Caucasus regions.

"From the juridical point of view, new states have emerged. The process of their recognition may take a rather long time, but our position will be invariable," he said during interviews by local TV channels.

Medvedev signed decrees last Tuesday for the recognition, following military conflicts with Georgia in South Ossetia which broke out on Aug. 8 when Tbilisi sent in troops to reclaim control of the region that was run by Russian and Georgian peacekeepers.

"The recognition of independent Abkhazia and South Ossetia by other states "is a different question," Medvedev said at his presidential residence in the Black Sea sort Sochi.

Russia's ties with the West were in strain due to the situation in the Caucasus region, where Georgia is bidding for NATO membership and Russia is against that.

"In general we do not advocate sanctions and apply them only in exceptional cases ... If need be we can pass such laws (that allows sanctions)," said Medvedev on the eve of a European Union summit that was called by the French EU presidency in a bid to formulate a response to the Georgia-Russia conflict.

(Xinhua News Agency September 1, 2008)

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