Abkhazia looks to join Belarus-Russia alliance

Bagapsh also signalled Abkhazia's intention to join the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO).

"After signing the required agreements and documents we will make an application to join as a union state. If the CIS expands, we are ready to join it, as well as the CSTO," said Bagapsh.

He made the announcement at a Sochi press conference attended by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Russia recognised the independence of Abkhazia on August 26. Belarus has yet to do so, but the country's president, Aleksandr Lukashenko, has said he will consider the matter after the Belarus elections at the end of September. Belarus must recognize Abkhazia as an independent state before it can admit it into any political alliance.

The Union of Russia and Belarus functions as a platform for economic and political harmonisation between the two nations, and has put forward plans for a common currency and customs regime.

South Ossetia and North to unite within Russia?

The president of South Ossetia has also visited Sochi and revealed to the journalists the way he sees the future of the newly independent country.

"Some time ago Western political experts suggested that we persuade North Ossetia to secede from Russia. They promised to recognize us even before Kosovo if we had agreed to do it. The West would not have questioned our independence if we had united with Russia's North Ossetia into one state. But we want to unite with North Ossetia within Russian borders. This was decided by the peoples of both republics," South Ossetian President, Eduard Kokoity, said.


Russia recognised the independence of South Ossetia on the same day as Abkhazia.


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