Updated at 23:19,25-10-2016

Lukashenka Pledged to Recognize Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Medvedev Says

03-08-2010, 16:02

Alyaksandr Lukashenka has promised that Belarus will recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on August 3.

The Russian president said that Mr. Lukashenka had made the promise in the presence of a number of CIS countries' leaders, according to Russia's RIA Novosti news agency.

"He said, 'I vow to do everything within the shortest possible period'," Mr. Medvedev was quoted as saying.

He said that although Moscow was interested in the international recognition of Georgia's breakaway provinces as independent states, it "is not an end in itself." "There has been no such task," he said while replying to a reporter's question.

Only four United Nations members - Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Nauru - have recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states.

Mr. Lukashenka has repeatedly emphasized that it was up to Belarus' National Assembly to decide whether or not to recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

A delegation of Belarusian lawmakers visited Georgia and both breakaway provinces in November 2009 to study the situation there. The delegation's findings were not made public.

The House of Representatives received a recognition appeal from the parliament of South Ossetia on December 1, 2008 and a similar appeal from the legislature of Abkhazia a little earlier, but the lower parliamentary chamber has not yet considered the issue.

Mr. Lukashenka said in September 2009 that the Belarusian parliament would consider recognizing the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia later that year.