Yanukovych Won’t Recognize South Ossetia or Abkhazia

The AFP is reporting that President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych has stated that his government will not recognize the independence of separatist territories in Georgia, South Ossetia and Abkhazia:

“I have never recognized Abkhazia, South Ossetia or Kosovo as independent states. This is a violation of international laws and norms,” he told reporters at a news conference to mark his first 100 days in power.

“According to international law, any violation of the territorial integrity of any state is forbidden.”

The president said he had never “in any interview” supported actions which violated the borders of states.

Well, this is surprising … but on the other hand, Belarus hasn’t recognized the breakaway territories either.  It doesn’t seem like anyone in the neighborhood thinks that it’s wise to set the legal precedent for fear of their own borders with Russia.  For now, it will just have to be far-away Nicaragua and Venezuela who back the recognition, but the Kremlin doesn’t seem too troubled by the status quo to keep up a buffer zone.