18 Dec 2009

Nauru claims recognition of independence for disputed Georgian territories not related to Moscow aid

4:51 am on 18 December 2009

Nauru's Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Kieren Keke, claims his country's recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is not linked to aid assistance from Russia.

He says Nauru recognised the breakaway Georgian territories because it's satisfied they have a clear historical and legal basis for independence.

The island is just the fourth country to give recognition to South Ossetia and Abkhazia after Russia, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

There have been media reports Nauru is to receive tens of millions of dollars in aid from Moscow for recognising the disputed territories, but Dr Keke says this is a gross misrepresentation.

However he does say that he has just held talks in Moscow with Russia's Foreign Minister and several other ministries on aid assistance projects that fit with Nauru's sustainable development strategy.

France has called 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.