Mérida, September 10th 2009
(Venezuelanalysis.com) -- During a visit to Russia on
Thursday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez formally recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia as
independent states, and declared that Venezuela
will establish diplomatic relations with the disputed former Georgian
from today is joining in the formal recognition of the two republics as
independent states," said Chavez. "We soon will begin actions to establish
diplomatic relations with these countries."
The Russian government, which also recognizes the
independence of the breakaway provinces, praised Chavez's decision. "Thank you,
Hugo, you have made a set of serious and important declarations," said Russian
President Dmitry Medvedev.
Georgian vice Prime Minister Temur Yakobashvili
rejected Venezuela's move, but said it "will not have any important political
consequences." Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Nalbandov accused Russia of
using the disputed territories as "puppet regimes."
South Ossetia and Abkhazia broke away from Georgia
in 1991. Venezuela is the third country to recognize their independence, after Russia
and Nicaragua. The U.S. and the European Union, among others, consider them autonomous
provinces of Georgia. Russia maintains troops in both provinces, and helped South Ossetia repel Georgia's
attempt to militarily reincorporate it last year.
During his visit to Russia,
President Chavez advocated the cultivation of strategic multinational alliances
in order to put an end to the U.S.
global dominance and create a "pluri-polar world."
Referring to the world economic crisis sparked by the
collapse of the U.S. financial sector last year, Chavez said during a speech in
Russia, "This crisis obligates us to take the initiative, we must come to an
agreement on a new way, a new world, in the economic, the political, and the
Venezuela and Russia moved forward on the creation of a bi-national bank, joint oil
extraction in Venezuela, and military cooperation during the visit.
Chavez will now head to Spain,
the last stop in his eleven-day tour which also included Libya, Algeria, Syria, Iran, Turkmenistan, and Belarus.