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Luhansk People's Republic Recognizes South Ossetia

The council of Ukraine's self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic (LNR) has officially recognized Georgia's breakaway republic of South Ossetia, state news agency RIA Novosti reported Wednesday.

The LNR, established last year by pro-Russian rebels amid the ongoing Ukraine conflict, occupies a portion of what is universally recognized as Ukraine's Luhansk region. South Ossetia is a breakaway state of Georgia that was recognized as independent by Russia and a handful of other countries following a brief war over the territory between Georgia and Russia in 2008. Both breakaway regions have a strongly pro-Russian leadership, and South Ossetia recognized both the LNR and its neighboring pro-Russian self-proclaimed entity the Donetsk People's Republic (DNR) last year.

Alexander Kofman, foreign minister of the DNR, told the separatist-run Oplot-TV station Tuesday that the republic would host a summit of states fighting for recognition of their independence "in February or March."

The republic's authorities plan to invite representatives of the Basque Country, Texas and Venice, among others, he said.

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