Georgia Says Vanuatu Has Withdrawn Recognition of Abkhazia

The Pacific island nation of Vanuatu withdrew its recognition of Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s administration said today on its Facebook Inc. page.

Vanuatu, which lies about 1,500 miles northeast of Sydney, had become the fifth country to recognize Abkhazia’s independence, agreeing to set up diplomatic relations with the self-declared republic in 2011.

Abkhazia and South Ossetia, another separatist region of Georgia, declared independence after a five-day war between Russia and the former Soviet republic in August, 2008. Only Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Nauru, another country in the South Pacific, recognize their independence. Georgia maintains Russia occupied the two regions after the conflict.

Vanuatu’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade didn’t answer the phone when contacted by Bloomberg outside of office hours.

To contact the reporter on this story: Helena Bedwell in Tbilisi at hbedwell@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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