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Recognition of So-Called Independence of Georgian Occupied Regions by Belarus not On Agenda, Says Georgian MFA

By Khatia Bzhalava
Wednesday, February 9, 2022
The Georgian Foreign Ministry has stated that considering the bilateral relations between Belarus and Georgia, recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali by Belarus is not on the agenda. The statement came after a Russian reporter’s interview with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, where it is stated that Lukashenko does not rule out the possibility of recognizing the independence of the two occupied territories.

As Russian news agency quotes, when asked about when Belarus would recognize the independence of those regions, president Lukashenko answered: “As long as I understand and President [Vladimir Putin] tells me there is a need for it.”

Georgian foreign ministry spokesperson Mari Narchemashvili claims that separate remarks from the interview were extracted and spread in the Russian media with targeted accents and interpretations, noting that Belarus in this regard remains loyal to the fundamental principles of international law.

Meanwhile, Abkhaz authorities have also responded to the Belarusian leader’s remarks, noting that they positively assess the statements and express hope that Belarus will follow the path of Russia and recognize the independence of Abkhazia. The so-called Foreign Ministry of occupied Abkhazia stresses that “Abkhazia is open to dialogue with Russia-friendly states” and is interested in establishing official contacts with Belarus.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has announced that the Kremlin would not send any signals to Alexander Lukashenko regarding the recognition of the independence of Tskhinvali and Abkhazia or recognition of Crimea as a Russian region, noting that "Our ally and partner will make his own decision when he considers it necessary." He added that Lukashenko is well-aware of the situation and noted that ‘there is no need for additional signals’.