Ukraine against recognizing Georgia rebel regions: president

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Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on Friday said for the first time he was against following Russia's move to recognize as independent the Georgian rebel regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Yanukovych said the recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia -- over which Georgia and Russia fought a brief war in 2008 -- as well as that of Kosovo were against international law.

"I have never recognized Abkhazia, South Ossetia, or Kosovo as independent states. This is a violation of international laws and norms," he told reporters at a news conference.

The president's comments appear aimed at emphasizing his vision of Ukraine as a neutral, non-aligned state, which while ditching the previous goverment's aim to join NATO will also not join Russian-led military alliances.

© 2010 AFP

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