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    Russia stands by recognition of Abkhazia, S.Ossetia - speaker

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    Russia will never withdraw its recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia's independence, the speaker of the lower house of parliament said on Thursday.

    MOSCOW, January 29 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will never withdraw its recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia's independence, the speaker of the lower house of parliament said on Thursday.

    "All MPs meeting at PACE, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly should operate on the premise that it is pointless to suggest that a reversal is possible. Russia has recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and that is for all time," Boris Gryzlov said.

    Abkhazia and South Ossetia were recognized as independent by Russia last August following Georgia's assault on South Ossetia and Moscow's five-day military operation to force Tbilisi to peace. Nicaragua soon followed Russia's lead in recognizing the republics, but no other country has done so.

    In a resolution adopted on Wednesday, PACE condemned Moscow's recognition of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, but stopped short of imposing any sanctions against Russia.

    The Assembly reiterated the call for Russia to withdraw its recognition of the two breakaway republics.

    Gryzlov said nothing would force Russia to change its position, adding that it was "useless" to make such appeals.

    "We have repeatedly stated during meetings with MPs from other countries that there is no going back," he said.

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