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Georgia has no plans to recognize Kosovo

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Georgia does not intend to recognize Kosovo's independence, and the issue is not on the agenda, a parliamentary spokesman for the former Soviet republic said on Sunday.
TBILISI, February 17 (RIA Novosti) - Georgia does not intend to recognize Kosovo's independence, and the issue is not on the agenda, a parliamentary spokesman for the former Soviet republic said on Sunday.

Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on Sunday. The U.S. and other European states are expected to recognize its sovereignty on Monday.

He said Georgia was more concerned by Russia's stance on South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

"The issue is not on the agenda. We care about the future of our territories," he said. "We will wait and see what Russia does concerning Abkhazia and South Ossetia."

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said on Saturday that "Under the Constitution all people living on the Georgian soil are the citizens of Georgia and the country has a constitutional obligation and the right to protect its territory and citizens."

He added that "if there are citizens of Russia in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, then they are living there illegally."

Russia has repeatedly said that granting Kosovo sovereignty could set a precedent and trigger a chain reaction for secessionist regions throughout the world.

"The declaration of sovereignty by Kosovo and its recognition will doubtlessly be taken into account in [Russia's] relations with Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Nevertheless, Russia confirms its intention to seek a peaceful settlement for the Georgian-Abkhazian and Georgian-South Ossetian conflicts," Russia's Foreign Ministry said earlier.

However, Western countries supporting Kosovo's independence insist that its case is unique, and that there is no threat of the subsequent weakening of international law.

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