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Chavez backs Russia on Georgian breakaway regions

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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Russia had made the right decision by recognizing Georgia's breakaway regions, local media reported.
MOSCOW, August 30 (RIA Novosti) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Russia had made the right decision by recognizing Georgia's breakaway regions, local media reported.

"Russia has recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. We support Russia. Russia is right and is defending its interests," Chavez said in a televised speech on Friday.

Russia officially recognized the Georgian breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia on Tuesday, saying the move was needed to protect the regions following Georgia's military offensive on August 8 in which hundreds of civilians died and thousands were forced to flee the region.

The Venezuelan leader said that Venezuela "would do the same if someone dared to attack us." Chavez, a fierce critic of the U.S., criticized Georgia over the recent conflict, calling President Mikheil Saakashvili a "puppet" of Washington.

Earlier this month, Chavez said that Georgian forces had launched their attack on South Ossetia on the orders of U.S. President George Bush.

He also said that the U.S. was seeking to encircle Russia which had "risen from its knees thanks to the firm hand of ex-president Putin, and has again become a world power."

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