Abkhazia, one of Georgia's two separatist regions, will formally ask Russia for recognition as an independent country on Wednesday. Russia has previously drawn comparisons between Georgia's rebel provinces and recently independent Kosovo.
Georgia's separatist region of Abkhazia is to launch a formal appeal Wednesday for Russia to recognise it as an independent country, the deputy speaker of Abkhazia's parliament told AFP.
"The people of Abkhazia intend to ask the Russian leadership to recognise Abkhazia," said the rebel republic's deputy speaker Vyacheslav Tsugba.
On Wednesday Abkhazia's parliament will consider an independence appeal to the Russian leadership by the region's leader Sergei Bagapsh, Tsugba said.
On Thursday a broad assembly with representatives of all the region's political parties and movements will meet on a square in the centre of the capital Sukhumi to finally approve the appeal, he said.
Russia has said that in the wake of Georgia's August 7 attack on South Ossetia, another breakaway region, neither it nor Abkhazia can remain part of Georgia.
Both regions have enjoyed de facto independence since breaking from Tbilisi in wars in the early 1990s, but no country has recognized either region.
Any move toward formal independence would likely meet an angry response from Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who came to power promising to take both regions back under Tbilisi's control.
Russian diplomats see a parallel between the predicament faced by South Ossetians and Abkhazians and the fate of Kosovo's Albanian majority, which unilaterally seceded from Serbia last February despite vehement opposition from Belgrade and Moscow.
Date created : 2008-08-20