The Vanuatu government's confirmed it has agreed to formally recognize the independence of Abkhazia, a Russian-backed breakaway region of Georgia.
It comes after Vanuatu's ambassador to the United Nations strongly denied reports from Abkhazia that the Pacific Island nation recognised the territory's sovereignty.
The prime minister's senior advisor John Shing says technically speaking Vanuatu has agreed to Abkhazia's request, and the reasons why would be revealed soon.
The Internal Affairs minister George Wells, says two months ago when he was still the Minister of Foreign Affairs, he received a request from Abkhazia seeking recognition of its independence.
He says he rejected the request based on advice from senior officials.