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17 Oct, 2008 09:39

South Ossetia & Abkhazia: half in, half out

South Ossetia & Abkhazia: half in, half out

The parliaments of South Ossetia and Abkhazia have been given permanent observer status in parliamentary sessions of the Russia-Belarus Union State. Now the lawmakers of the two new-born republics will have the right to address parliamentary assembly sess

Russia recognised the territories as independent states after a brief war with Georgia, which attacked South Ossetia in an attempt to regain control in early August. Nicaragua has so far been the only other country that has followed Russia in recognising both breakaway states.

Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko earlier said his country would consider the republics’ recognition request.

It came as a surprise for many that Belarus, believed to be the most loyal of all Russia’s allies, did not recognise Abkhazia and South Ossetia straight after Russia. RT investigates the question of whether it is going to do this in the near future.

The Russia-Belarus Union State is a supranational entity consisting of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus. It was formed in 1996 “with the intention of providing greater political, economic, and social integration.”

Deputy speaker of the South Ossetian parliament, Yury Dzitsoity, announced at the end of last week that the republic is preparing to apply for admission. Earlier RT took a closer look at the prospects of this happening