"The unilateral recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by the Russian Federation violates the territorial integrity of a fellow Council of Europe member state", reads the statement of the Council of Europe Secretary General Terry Davis forwarded to UNIAN from the CE press office.

According to the statement, "It jeopardises prospects for a negotiated settlement of the dispute about the future status of these two regions.  Russia cannot have it both ways. In the past, Russia has strongly supported the principle of territorial integrity. The decision to recognise Abkhazia and South Ossetia must strike any objective observer as being inconsistent with this principle.  The ultimate victim of this decision is the international credibility of the Russian Federation. The Russians cannot invoke international law only when they feel like it."