Belarus says to recognize Abkhazia, S. Ossetia by weekend

MOSCOW, August 28 (RIA Novosti) - The Belarusian ambassador to Moscow said Thursday that Belarus would in the next day or two recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

"We are allies and this says it all," Vasily Dolgolev said of Minsk's relations with Moscow. He added that the relevant announcement would be made by President Alexander Lukashenko on Thursday or Friday.

Russia recognized the two separatist Georgian republics' sovereignty Tuesday, but despite President Dmitry Medvedev's call for other countries to follow suit, none has.

President Lukashenko sent a message Thursday to his Russian counterpart saying his country remained a reliable ally of Russia but calling for the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to find a common position on the recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

"Under the circumstances Russia had no other moral choice but to support appeals of South Ossetian and Abkhazian peoples on the recognition of their right for self-determination in line with fundamental international documents," Lukashenko said in the message.

The presidential press service said Lukashenko also proposed including the issue on the agenda of the CSTO session scheduled for September 5.

The CSTO is a post-Soviet security alliance that also includes Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan.



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