Medvedev recognises Georgian states
"To us that would be unacceptable... " - US state department
Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president, has signed a decree under which Russia formally recognises the breakaway Georgian provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states.
"I have signed decrees on the recognition of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia," Medvedev said in a pre-recorded address broadcast on national television.
Medvedev`s announcement came a day after Russia`s parliament passed resolutions calling for the recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states.
Both houses of the Russian parliament called on Medvedev, Russia`s president, to recognise the independence of the two regions.
The move is likely to stoke tensions between Moscow and Georgia`s Western allies, which already accuse Russia of not complying with an EU-brokered ceasefire agreement to withdraw troops to pre-conflict levels in Georgia.
On Monday, the US state department said it was "unacceptable" for the Russian parliament to recognise the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
"To us that would be unacceptable... Russia needs to respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia," said Robert Wood, a spokesman for the department.