Russia established diplomatic ties with Tuvalu, a Pacific island nation that became at least the fifth country to recognize Georgia’s two breakaway regions, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on its website today.
Tuvalu, a nation of about 12,000 people located midway between Hawaii and Australia, recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent last week, the governments of the two territories said in separate statements Sept. 20 and Sept. 23.
Abkhazia and South Ossetia declared independence after a five-day war between Russia and the former Soviet republic of Georgia in August 2008. Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Nauru, another country in the South Pacific, previously recognized their independence. Georgia maintains Russia occupied the two regions after the conflict.
Tuvalu, formerly known as the Ellice Islands, is a constitutional monarchy that comprises four reef islands and five coral atolls.