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28 Aug, 2008 04:00

Abkhazia to remain independent from Georgia and Russia

Abkhazia's president Sergey Bagapsh says his country has no intention of becoming part of Russia. But in an interview with French TV, he added that Abkhazia is thankful to Russia as it was the only country to help them d

Earlier Russia's envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin stated that Russia's recognition of the two former Georgian republics proves Moscow has no intention to annex them – as Georgia has been claiming.

Meanwhile diplomatic activity between Russia and Abkhazia is expected to be initiated in the next few weeks.

Moscow wants its peacekeeping forces to remain in the region so some legal documents can be updated. Also, there are plans to sign a security treaty.

Abkhazia’s Foreign Ministry intends to ask other nations to recognise its independence. First of all, these will be the countries that recognised Kosovo’s independence.

In the meantime, NATO forces have been increasing their presence in the Black Sea, not far from Abkhazia’s coast. Although their mission, according to NATO commanders, is providing humanitarian aid to Georgia, Abkhazians regard this as a threat to their security.

Abkhazian authorities have asked Russia to provide protection from the sea. On Thursday, three Russia warships arrived in Abkhazia with an observation and peacekeeping mission.