Belarus likely to recognize S.Ossetia, Abkhazia soon

MOSCOW, September 8 (RIA Novosti) - Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said on Monday that his country would consider the issue of the recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states in the near future.

Russia recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia on August 26. Nicaragua followed suit last week.

"The time will most likely come when we, like Russia, will consider the question of the recognition of [the independence of] South Ossetia," Lukashenko said.

He also said that Belarus would "soon hold parliamentary polls," and that the new parliament would discuss the issue of both South Ossetia and Abkhazia after the elections.

Belarusian voters are due to cast their votes in parliamentary elections on September 28.

Lukashenko denied that Minsk's decision on whether or not to recognize the republics would be influenced by Moscow, but said that "Belarus has always been Russia's reliable friend."

Speaking a month after Georgia's August 8 attack on South Ossetia, Lukashenko said Minsk was offering "solidarity" with Moscow, its strategic ally, in the "information war being waged against Russia by the West."

Lukashenko added that he had long maintained "warm" relations with Abkhaz President Sergei Bagapsh. "We blocked a resolution in the early days of the CIS on an embargo against Abkhazia," he said.

The CIS, or Commonwealth of Independent States, is a loose alliance of a number of former Soviet republics.



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