#25 - JRL 2009-158 - JRL Home
Medvedev still 'has no regrets' over Abkhazia, S. Ossetia

ULAN BATOR, August 26 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said again on Wednesday he had no regrets about recognizing the independence of the former Georgian republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia one year ago.

Some 162 civilians and 67 Russian service personnel, including peacekeepers, were killed when Georgia attacked the former Georgian republic of South Ossetia last August 8. Russia reacted swiftly, expelling Georgian troops from the region. It subsequently recognized both South Ossetia and Abkhazia on August 26.

"Because of the situation that happened and in order to protect the peoples of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, no other decision was possible...I have no regrets about that decision," Medvedev told journalists during his visit to Mongolia.

Medvedev repeated that exactly one year ago he had said international recognition of the two republics would take time, but for Russia this is "secondary."

He said that Tskhinvali and Sukhumi were interested in their recognition by other countries and international organizations but said "not all of the processes in the world move quickly," adding that other countries needed time to make their decision on the two republics' recognition.

Medvedev said he would "be happy" if other countries recognized the republics.

Besides Russia, only Nicaragua has recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent countries.

During a visit to the Caucus region in early August, Medvedev said that August 8, 2008 was "a tragic date in modern history" and called Georgia's actions "a barbaric aggression" and said that Moscow would continue to provide South Ossetia with social and economic aid, as well as military assistance.

Russia has already allocated some 10 billion rubles ($321 million) to South Ossetia for projects to rebuild infrastructure destroyed during the August 2008 war.

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