Breakaway republics to ask EU, UN for independence

The leaders of three unrecognised states – South Ossetia, Transdniester and Abkhazia – are in the city of Sukhumi for a two-day summit to talk diplomatic, economic and law enforcement co-operation.

While in Abhazia's capital, they are expected to sign an appeal to the European Union and the United Nations to recognise their independence.

The commonwealth of self-proclaimed states was formed in June last year.

Besides sharing common political goals, they co-operate in the economy, culture and education.

The republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia declared independence from the rest of Georgia in the early 90s.

Tbilisi sent armed troops to these areas, which sparked violent conflicts. Thousands of people died. More than 300,000 Georgians fled the breakaway republics before CIS peacekeepers from the former Soviet Republics managed to halt the violence. 

They're still stationed at the borders for the safety of the population.

Georgia has been repeatedly calling for the withdrawal of the Russian peacekeepers. But since their mission is sanctioned by the UN Security Council and an agreement with the CIS, the troops remain.

Transdniester is a self-proclaimed republic which split from Moldova in the early 90s.

Two-thirds of its population are ethnic Russians and Ukrainians. 

In the summer of 1992, more than a thousand people died in clashes between Moldovan troops and the Transdniester militia.

Both Abkhazia and South Ossetia are concerned over recent incidents on their borders with Georgia.

Earlier this week, CIS peacekeepers clashed with a group of Georgian policemen near a village in the demilitarised zone.

“Peace has to be preserved. We understand responsibility not only for the people of South Ossetia but for everyone living in the Caucasus. If the situation develops according to the Georgian scenario, there’ll be large-scale military operations in the region,” says South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoyti.

According to Abkhazia, Georgia is increasing its military presence in the area, which violates the 1992 ceasefire agreements.