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Russia has no plans to back independence for S.Ossetia, Abkhazia

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Russia will not recognize the sovereignty of separatist South Ossetia and Abkhazia, if Serbia's breakaway province of Kosovo is declared independent, First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said on Sunday.
MUNICH, February 10 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will not recognize the sovereignty of separatist South Ossetia and Abkhazia, if Serbia's breakaway province of Kosovo is declared independent, First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said on Sunday.

Ivanov dismissed as erroneous the conjectures by some western politicians that Russia waited for declaration of Kosovo's independence to recognize the sovereignty of Georgia's breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

South Ossetia and Abkhazia declared independence from Georgia following bloody conflicts in the wake of the Soviet Union's collapse. Georgia's current pro-Western leadership has been seeking to recover its influence in the separatist regions and secure international support on the issue.

The Albanian-dominated Serbian province of Kosovo has been a UN protectorate since the NATO bombing of the former Yugoslavia ended a conflict between Albanian and Serb forces in 1999.

Most Western states back the volatile area's drive for independence, and recently agreed that Kosovo's status would be determined by the European Union and NATO. Russia insists that Belgrade and Pristina continue to seek a compromise.

Kosovo's recently elected prime minister, Hashim Thaci, earlier said Pristina's independence was an accomplished fact and would be declared as soon as the United States and the European Union were ready to recognize it.

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