15 Dec 2009

Reports Nauru pledges to recognise Russian rebel regions for aid

12:27 pm on 15 December 2009

A Russian newspaper has reported Nauru's pledged to recognise two Russian-backed rebel regions in exchange for financial aid from Moscow.

Russia has been trying to secure international recognition for the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which most of the world regards as part of Georgia, after crushing a Georgian assault on South Ossetia in a five-day war last year.

After the war, Russia recognised the regions as independent states but so far only Venezuela and Nicaragua have followed suit.

Russia's respected Kommersant daily says Moscow had now persuaded Nauru to also recognise the regions by promising millions of dollars in aid.

The paper says Dr Kieren Keke, Nauru's foreign minister, said during a visit to South Ossetia, while on his way to the Copenhagen climate change conference, that his nation was ready to recognise the two regions.'

Abkhazia and South Ossetia broke away from Georgia's rule after wars in the early 1990s and have run their own affairs ever since.

They depend on Russia for their defences and most of the people in both areas have Russian passports.