A New Zealand academic says Georgia's breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia are bidding for international recognition by seeking out poorer and smaller states.
The foreign ministers of the two republics are in Nauru which is expected to lobby for their international recognition.
Only four countries recognise the two regions as independent countries after Tuvalu and Vanuatu in 2014 changed sides and set up ties with Georgia.
The Director of the Centre for Defence and Security Studies at Massey University Rouben Azizian said Russia was backing Abkhazia and South Ossetia to counter Georgia.
"They are counting on the financial vulnerability of the small islands and other smaller nations where they basically can offer some incentive - or bribes is the other word for that - and that has happened before. At the same time these countries are coming under strong pressure from Georgia who is supported by Western nations."
Rouben Azizian likened the lobbying to the former chequebook diplomacy between China and Taiwan.