On Tuesday, the Syrian government announced its recognition of the self-proclaimed independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia – regions internationally recognized as legally part of Georgia.
Lithuania joins several countries, the European Union, and NATO, in condemning Syria’s recognition of the regions’ independence. Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius posted a message on the micro blogging platform Twitter, saying, “Lithuania condemns in strongest terms cynical violation of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by the Kremlin controlled Assad regime. Full solidarity with Georgia. Those behind this yet another blatant violation of international law must face consequences.”
Georgia considers both regions illegally occupied by Russia. Abkhazia and South Ossetia have both created their own de-facto governments, and there have been violent clashes in the regions since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.
Both Abkhazia and South Ossetia are military and financially sustained by the Russian Federation, who has been one of Syria’s few allies in its long and bloody civil war. The only countries that recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states are Syria, Russia, Nauru, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.