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Russia to continue cooperation with Abkhazia - Medvedev

RIA Novosti

17:23 30/09/2009 MOSCOW, September 30 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow will continue its cooperation in the social and economic development of the former Georgian republic of Abkhazia, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday.

Abkhazia celebrates Independence Day on Wednesday. The holiday commemorates the day when Abkhaz troops pushed Georgian forces out of the republic in 1993, ending a 412-day war.

Medvedev said in his letter of congratulation that Russia would "continue to give the friendly Abkhaz people full cooperation in issues relating to government structure and in the cultural and humanitarian spheres."

Russia recognized the independence of the former Georgian republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia last August after a five-day war with Georgia over the latter, which was attacked by Tbilisi in an attempt to bring it back under central control. Nicaragua and Venezuela have also recognized both republics' independence.

Under mutual assistance treaties signed last November, Russia pledged to help South Ossetia and Abkhazia protect their borders, and the signatories granted each other the right to set up military bases in their respective territories.

"Obviously, issues of peace-keeping and security in the Caucasus remain a priority in our cooperation," Medvedev said.

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