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Nauru’s President Accuses US of Applying Pressure for Recognizing Abkhazia’s Independence

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, November 14
Baron Waqa, President of the tiny South Pacific Island of Nauru, claims that his country is constantly put under pressure by the United States and Tbilisi for having officially recognized the independence of two Russian-backed breakaway regions of Georgia.

After the August 2008 Russia-Georgia War, nearly a quarter of Georgia’s territory - Abkhazia and South Ossetia -were occupied by Russia and its local separatist proxies.

Russia, Nauru, and close Moscow allies Nicaragua and Venezuela, all recognized the regions as independent states.

During a visit to Abkhazia, Waqa and his delegation met the self-proclaimed Abkhaz President Raul Khajimba and other officials from the secessionist government.

“In addition to pressure from the US and Georgia, these countriesalso wanted to bribe us. To us, this looked like blackmail. But we stated we would not change our mind regarding the issue,” state-run Russian news agency Sputnik quoted Waqa as saying.

“All the challenges facing Abkhazia are typical not only for our countries, but also for many others...I am sure that solving common problems will lead to the improvement of our relations and will create additional opportunities for their participation in global processes,” PEC quoted the President of Nauru.

Waqa also promised Khajimba that Nauru will always support programs and initiatives aimed at developing Abkhazia.

Nauruan delegations previously visited Abkhazia in 2016 and early in 2017.

In May 2017, US President Donald Trump signed an act that declares Abkhazia and South Ossetia as Russian-occupied territories belonging to Georgia.

The act bans financial support for countries which recognize the two regions and also says that US representatives in international financial institutions are prohibited from supporting programs that violate Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty.

The US is a major financial contributor to the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, UN Children's Fund, World Health Organization and UN Fund for Population Activities, which also heavily assist Nauru.