Russian lawmakers approved on Monday a resolution recognizing the independence of two rebel regions of Georgia, a move likely to worsen relations with the West already strained by Moscow’s military intervention there.
The upper house of parliament, or Federation Council, voted 130-0 to call on President Dmitry Medvedev to recognize the rebel regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent.
Georgia and Russia fought a brief war earlier this month over South Ossetia after Tbilisi sent in troops to try to retake the province by force, provoking a massive counter-attack by land, sea and air from Moscow.
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“Today it is clear that after Georgia’s aggression against South Ossetia (that) Georgian-South-Ossetian and Georgian-Abkhazian relations cannot be returned to their former state,” upper house speaker Sergei Mironov said during the debate.
“The peoples of South Ossetia and Abkhazia have the right to get independence”.