Pacific island to back Russia on rebel regions-paper | world | Hindustan Times
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Pacific island to back Russia on rebel regions-paper

The tiny Pacific island of Nauru has pledged to recognise two Russian-backed rebel regions in exchange for financial aid from Moscow.

world Updated: Dec 14, 2009 15:52 IST

The tiny Pacific island of Nauru has pledged to recognise two Russian-backed rebel regions in exchange for financial aid from Moscow, the Kommersant newspaper reported on Monday, citing Nauru's foreign minister.

Russia has been trying to secure international recognition for the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which most of the world regards as part of Georgia, after crushing a Georgian assault on South Ossetia in a five-day war last year.

After the war, Russia recognised the regions as independent states but so far only Venezuela and Nicaragua have followed suit.

Russia's respected Kommersant daily said Moscow had now persuaded Nauru to also recognise the regions by promising aid to the island nation in the South Pacific. Kieren Keke, Nauru's foreign minister, was cited by Kommersant as saying during a visit to South Ossetia that his nation was ready to recognise the two regions.

Nauru, an island of 21 sq km, gained independence in 1968 and joined the United Nations in 1999 as the world's smallest independent republic, according to the CIA World Factbook.

Abkhazia and South Ossetia broke away from Georgia's rule after wars in the early 1990s and have run their own affairs ever since.

They depend on Russia for their defences and most of the people in both areas have Russian passports.