President Dmitry Medvedev signed decrees extending formal recognition to South Ossetia and Abkhazia on Tuesday after discussing the issue with top Ministers, defence and security chiefs at his Black Sea residence. The move came a day after Parliament passed non-binding resolutions urging the President to recognise the two territories.
“We have taken this step in order to prevent the genocide and annihilation of the people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia after 17 years of international efforts to resolve the conflict between Georgia and the two regions failed,” said Mr. Medvedev.
He accused NATO of conniving at Georgia’s refusal to renounce the use of force against its separatist territories, and said the aid and support Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili received from his “foreign patrons” encouraged him to launch a military attack against South Ossetia. NATO has sent an armada of warships to the Black Sea in a show of support for Georgia. Russia said 10 U.S. and NATO combat ships were already in the Black Sea, and another eight were expected to join them shortly.