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Hugo Chavez recognises South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Summary: Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez has recognised the pro-Russian rebel regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states.

Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez has recognised the pro-Russian rebel regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states.

Mr Chavez told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that Venezuela considers the two regions, which most of the rest of the world view as part of Georgia, as sovereign states and will establish diplomatic relations with them.

Mr Medvedev said: "Thank you, Hugo. Russia has always supported a country's sovereign right to recognise or not recognise a state's independence. But of course we are not indifferent to the fate of these two states. We are very grateful."

Russia recognised the two regions as independent in August 2008 after a crushing a Georgian attempt to retake the breakaway province of South Ossetia, which split from Tbilisi's rule in the early 1990s and has run its own affairs ever since.

The West condemned Moscow's recognition of the regions and until Thursday, Nicaragua was the only country apart from Russia to declare the enclaves sovereign states.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Geographic Code:4EXRU
Date:Sep 11, 2009
Words:203
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