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MOSCOW, October 6 (Itar-Tass) — Moscow lauds Tuvalu’s sovereign decision to establish diplomatic relations with the young Transcaucasian states – the Republic of Abkhazia and the Republic of South Ossetia, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported on Thursday.
“The step taken by Tuvalu consolidates the international legal regime of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and will facilitate the expansion of international contacts of Sukhum and Tskhinval,” the ministry said.
The tiny Pacific Ocean state of Tuvalu became the six country, which recognised the independence of Abkhazia, and the five country, which recognised the independence of South Ossetia.
Maxim Gundzhiya, the foreign minister in Abkhazia's separatist government, said that Tuvalu's Prime Minister Willy Telavi and his Abkhazian counterpart Sergei Shamba signed the agreement to establish diplomatic relations with Sukhumi on September 18.
South Ossetian leader Eduard Kokoity on September 23 said that Tuvalu's recognition of South Ossetia was a “courageous and determined step”.
There has so far been no independent confirmation of the move from Tuvalu.
Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and the Pacific island of Nauru had previously recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Earlier this year, a third Pacific state, Vanuatu, said it also recognized Abkhazia, but soon afterwards reversed its decision. However, the Abkhazian authorities and the Vanuatu government's official website say the recognition remains in force.