(CNN) — One of Georgia’s breakaway regions has asked Russia to recognize independence, according to a report by the Russian news agency Interfax.
A convoy of Russian armored vehicles pictured outside Gori Tuesday.
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Lawmakers in Abkhazia approved the request from President Sergei Bagapsh, Interfax reported. The president also called for a friendship and mutual assistance treaty, which would call for maintaining Russian peacekeepers in the region — located in western Georgia.
“I propose that the Russian Federation recognize the Republic of Abkhazia as a sovereign and independent state and establish diplomatic relations between Abkhazia and Russia,” Bagapsh said in his appeal.
The recent fighting between Russia and Georgia centered on developments in South Ossetia, the other breakaway region, where Georgia launched a large-scale attack on August 7 after a week of what it said were separatist attacks on villages near the enclave.
The next day Russia sent hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles across the international border, driving into Georgia from South Ossetia and Abkhazia.