CSTO to Admit Georgian Breakaways after Members Recognize Independence

MOSCOW (Armenpress)–The collective Security Treaty Organization will admit Abkhazia and South Ossetia after its member states recognize the independence of the two breakaway regions, the Secretary General of the Russian led military alliance, Nikolay Bordyuzha, told reporters Friday, reported Ria Novosti.

“We have a certain procedure for including countries in the organization. Such a decision is adopted by the Collective Security Council, that’s to say by the council of heads of countries,” he said. “The CSTO member countries must recognize them [South Ossetia and Abkhazia] as sovereign countries first.”

Russia recognized the two Georgian breakaway republics as independent states on August 26 after a five-day war with Georgia, which had attacked South Ossetia to bring it back under central control. Nicaragua has so far been the only other country to recognize the republics.

Belarus’s parliament will consider Abkhazia and South Ossetia’s requests for official recognition in the first half of 2009, a Belarusian lawmaker said on Wednesday.

Armenian, which currently chairs the CSTO, will, however, not join in recognizing Abkhazia and South Ossetia until it has officially recognized the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Armenia’s president Serzh Sarkisian said earlier in September.

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