MOSCOW, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has promised to recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday.
Lukashenko made the promise in the presence of several Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) leaders, Medvedev was cited by RIA Novosti news agency as saying.
He told media in Sochi that Russia would like other countries to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia but this will "not be a goal in itself."
"We are interested in their recognition. But this is not a goal in itself. No such task has ever been set," Medvedev said.
On Minsk's position on this issue, Medvedev said Lukashenko had earlier declared plans to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia "very shortly."
Russia accepted Georgia as a part of its empire in 1783 following a petition of a Georgian king who sought Russia's military protection against Turkey. In 1991, Georgia proclaimed its independence from Moscow. In 2008, Tbilisi severed diplomatic ties with Russia following recognition by Moscow of independence of two breakaway Georgian territories, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.