Support The Moscow Times!

Vanuatu Denies Recognition of Abkhazia

TBILISI, Georgia — The remote Pacific island nation of Vanuatu has denied recognizing the independence of Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia, contradicting a statement made by an Abkhaz official days earlier.

"There was no declaration of Abkhazia's independence from Vanuatu," Donald Kalpokas, Vanuatu's ambassador to the United Nations, said Friday by telephone from New York.

On Wednesday, Abkhazia's foreign minister, Maxim Gvindzhia, said Vanuatu, an island chain with some 235,000 people east of Australia, had recognized his country's sovereignty.

Russia has lobbied its allies to follow its lead in recognizing Abkhazia and another Georgian breakaway region, South Ossetia, since waging a war with Georgia over the provinces in August 2008.

So far Venezuela, Nicaragua and the tiny Pacific State of Nauru have established diplomatic ties with Abkhazia.

Separately, Georgian officials said Friday that they arrested two residents of Abkhazia on suspicion of preparing a terrorist bombing for Russia.

Georgian Interior Ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili said the man and woman were seized on Thursday carrying explosives to be set off in a market.

He added that the suspects said they were acting on the orders of the Federal Security Service.

The FSB declined immediate comment. But Itar-Tass cited Abkhaz police official Vadim Gvindzhia as saying the arrest was "a spectacle staged by Georgian special services."

(Reuters, AP)

… we have a small favor to ask.

As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just 2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.


Read more