Belarus delays recognition question

MINSK, Belarus, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- The question of independence for two former Georgian republics will not be considered by the Belarusian Parliament before the spring of 2010, officials said.

Abkhazia and South Ossetia asked for recognition by Belarus a year ago, but Belarusian leaders have put off the decision, RIA Novosti reported Friday.

Traditional Belarus ally Russia recognized the republics in 2008, but the European Union supports Georgia's sovereignty claims over the regions, the news agency said.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, the two republics broke from Georgia in armed conflict in the 1990s. Georgia severed its ties with Russia after it recognized the runaway republics' independence.

Belarus sent members of its Parliament to the region in November to study the situation, but there will be no vote on the issue in the current parliamentary session, officials said.

"Today is the last day of the fall session, and the issue of Abkhazia and South Ossetia has not been included in the agenda," said Sergei Maskevich, head of the Belarus lower house foreign relations committee.


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