Kremlin ready to publish Lukashenko's promise on Abkhazia, S.Ossetia

The Kremlin may publish the transcript from a CSTO summit in which Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said he was ready to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia, a senior Russian presidential official confirmed on Wednesday.

On Saturday, presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko said the Kremlin was ready to publish the transcript.

Prikhodko made his statement on the Russian president's orders, Deputy ‘hief of Staff Alexei Gromov said, adding that reports that Medvedev was "dissatisfied" with his aide's words were false.

Lukashenko promised to recognize the independence of the former Georgian republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia during a Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) summit on August 3.

The Belarusian president has not yet acted on his promise, complaining that Russia has refused to help his country cope with the consequences of such a step.

Medvedev will snub Lukashenko for his failure to deliver on the promise at a forthcoming CSTO summit in the Armenian capital of Yerevan on August 20-21, Russian business daily Kommersant said on Monday.

Russia recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia shortly after a five-day war with Georgia in August 2008. Fighting broke out when Georgian forces attacked South Ossetia in a bid to bring it back under central control.

Nicaragua, Venezuela and the tiny island nation of Nauru are the only other countries to have recognized the republics.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and Lukashenko have repeatedly claimed that Belarus is under pressure from Russia to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Experts say Belarus has been dragging its feet because it fears that the move would strain its relations with the West.

MOSCOW, August 18 (RIA Novosti)


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