Reuters, UK
Aug 31 2008

Moldova rebel region recognises S.Ossetia, Abkhazia

31 Aug 2008 12:06:53 GMT
Source: Reuters
By Dmitry Chubashenko

TIRASPOL, Moldova, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Moldova's breakaway region of
Transdniestria followed Russia's lead on Sunday by recognising
Georgia's breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states.

But the move is unlikely to ease Russia's diplomatic isolation:
Transdniestria itself is not recognised internationally and no state
has so far joined Russia in recognising the two Georgian regions.

Relations between Moscow and the West sunk to a new low last week
after President Dmitry Medvedev recognised the breakaway regions, just
weeks after a brief conflict with Georgia over its breakaway South
Ossetia region.

Moldova, located between Ukraine and EU-member Romania, fought a brief
war in Transdniestria in the early 1990s after the region declared
independence. The fighting ceased after Russia intervened and an
uneasy peace still holds.

"We have recognised each other," Transdniestria's self-styled
president Igor Smirnov told an annual news conference that precedes
the Transdniestrian Independence Day on Sept. 2. "I once again
congratulate our brothers in Abkhazia and South Ossetia."

Transdniestria is one of several "frozen conflicts" resulting from the
breakup of the Soviet Union. These also include Georgia's two regions
and Nagorno-Karabakh, which sparked a war between Azerbaijan and
Armenia in the 1990s.

Nagorno-Karabakh has also recognised South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
Russian allies Belarus and Venezuela have expressed support for
Russia's recognition but have stopped short of granting recognition
themselves. (Writing by Sabina Zawadzki; editing by Tony Austin)