Russia will not press the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member states for recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday. Abkhazia and South Ossetia were recognized as independent states by Russia last August following Georgia's assault on South Ossetia to regain control of the breakaway republic and Moscow's five-day military operation to force Tbilisi to peace.
"As for the official recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia by the CSTO member states, this is the sovereign matter of each state. Naturally, we are interested in our partners making this step... However, we cannot and will not pressurize them, about which we spoke on many occasions," Lavrov said in an interview with the Abkhazian journal Apsny.
Nicaragua has been the sole country that has followed Russia's lead in recognizing the republics, but no other country has done so.
The CSTO is a security grouping comprising the former Soviet republics of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan.