17 Dec 2009

France concerned over Nauru's Caucasus policy

5:45 pm on 17 December 2009

France has added its voice to criticism of Nauru over its decision to recognise the two Georgian breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

A statement issued by Paris calls Nauru's move regrettable while the US state department says recognising the two entities does nothing to underpin the legitimacy of the governments of the separatist regions.

Nauru became the fourth country after Russia, Nicaragua and Venezuela to recognise the two Georgian territories when the Nauru foreign minister, Kieren Keke, visited the region this week.

Nauru is said to have been given millions of dollars in Russian aid for the diplomatic move.

Russia says Nauru's stance will strengthen the international legitimacy of the two former Georgian republics.

Last year, Georgia launched an unsuccessful military offensive to retake the two areas, but Russia struck back and the war ended after about a week following French mediation.