MOSCOW, December 29./TASS/. Russia contributes to the development of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as modern democratic states as well as the development of their international ties, says a report of the Russian Foreign Ministry summing up the results of the outgoing year.
"In 2015, efforts continued towards the development of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as modern democratic states, the development of their international ties, as well as their security and social-economic development," the ministry said on Tuesday.
The ministry marked an important role in these efforts of "work on sectoral agreements in furtherance of provisions of the treaty on allied relations and strategic partnership between Russia and the Republic of Abkhazia of November 24, 2014 and the treaty between Russia and the Republic of South Ossetia on allied relations and integration of March 18, 2015."
Abkhazia, a province situated on the north-western Black Sea coast, sought independence from Georgia since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Deterioration of relations between Georgia and Abkhazia reached its peak in the 1990s and led to armed clashes that left about 20,000 people killed. In 1994, Abkhazia adopted its own constitution and declared independence from Georgia. A referendum in 1999 supported the republic’s statehood, but it was never accepted by the international community.
In early August 2008, when Georgia attacked South Ossetia, Abkhazia backed Russia’s operation to coerce Georgia into peace and asked Moscow to recognize its sovereignty. After the 2008 conflict Moscow declared that it would formally recognize the independence of both South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Russia's allies Nicaragua and Venezuela followed the suit, as did a number of small Pacific island states.