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    Georgia's breakaway republic Abkhazia will seek recognition for its de facto independence from Russia and the European Union, the republic's foreign minister said Thursday.

    SUKHUMI, February 28 (RIA Novosti) - Georgia's breakaway republic Abkhazia will seek recognition for its de facto independence from Russia and the European Union, the republic's foreign minister said Thursday.

    "The priority for developing ties with Russia is clear and is linked to economic and political interests, as well as cultural factors," Sergei Shamba said.

    The minister also said that Abkhazia "was ready for talks with [the EU]," adding however that it has received "no feedback" from Europe so far.

    Last week leaders of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two Georgian breakaway republics, which saw a bloody conflict after they declared independence from Georgia in 1991, said that Kosovo's independence, recognized by the U.S., Australia, Japan and major European countries, should be taken into account as far as their sovereignty is concerned.

    Russia has repeatedly said the recognition of the Balkan region's independence will set a precedent for other breakaway regions, including in the former Soviet Union.

    The Russian parliament said in a statement last week that Kosovo's independence gives Russia the right to forge new relationships with self-proclaimed states.

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