Vanuatu's UN Envoy Denies Abkhaz Recognition
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 4 Jun.'11 / 12:35

Vanuatu’s permanent representative to the UN, Ambassador Donald Kalpokas, said contrary to Sokhumi's claims his country had not recognized Abkhazia.

“I have asked my capital [Port-Vila] whether this is true and they denied it emphatically,” Kalpokas told the New York Times. “We don’t know who is responsible for declaring that this is true. As far as we are concerned, we are dealing with Georgia, not Abkhazia.”

“It is defamation for our country. This is disrespect,” he added.

Maxim Gvinjia, the foreign minister of breakaway Abkhazia, said on May 31 that Vanuatu recognized Abkhazia and still insists that that recognition, signed by the Prime Minister of Vanuatu, is valid.

Russian Foreign Ministry's spokesman, Alexander Lukashevich, said on June 2, that he was aware of reports about Vanuatu's recognition of Abkhazia.

"We are clarifying details," he said. "We welcome this step... We think it is a success of young Abkhaz diplomacy."

Abkhazia, like Georgia's second breakaway region of South Ossetia, is recognized by Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela and by the smallest island nation of Nauru.

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