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Russia establishes diplomatic ties with South Ossetia, Abkhazia
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Russia on Tuesday officially established diplomatic relations with South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"We exchanged notes on the establishment of diplomatic relations," Lavrov said following talks with senior officials from the two breakaway regions of Georgia in Moscow.

Russia establishes relations with the two new republics at the level of embassies, Russian news agencies quoted Lavrov as saying.

"This will facilitate the promotion of peace and security and all countries of the region, including Georgia will benefit from it," said the top Russian diplomat.

Georgian troops launched a sudden attack against South Ossetia on early August 8 to reclaim control over the Caucasus region, but were driven out of there by Russian forces.

The military conflict was stopped on August 12 with a France-brokered ceasefire pact in which Moscow promised to pull out its troops.

Moscow recognized the two regions as independent states on August 26.

(Xinhua News Agency September 10, 2008)

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