Russian President Dmitri Medvedev has pledged to develop broad economic and security ties with Abkhazia, one of two breakaway Georgian territories recognized by Moscow as independent countries.
Russia Vows Support for Breakaway Georgian Territories
Mr. Medvedev spoke Sunday in the Abkhaz city of Sukhumi, on the second anniversary of a brief but deadly war with Georgia.
He said the move to recognize the territories was not a simple decision. But he said time has shown it to be the right decision.
Russian forces crushed the Georgian army in the five-day war, and left thousands of troops in place in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Russia's move to recognize the regions as independent countries has been condemned by Georgia and by virtually all Western governments.
Georgia commemorated the war Saturday, with President Mikheil Saakashvili saying it remains Georgia's duty "to continue the struggle every day for the liberation of our land."
Following wreath-laying ceremonies Saturday in the Georgian capital, Georgian Defense Minister Bacho Akhalaia vowed that Georgian soldiers who died in the conflict will not be forgotten.
In Washington, U.S. senator and former presidential candidate John McCain called for more U.S. support for Georgia.
Writing in Sunday's edition of The Washington Post, McCain praised President Barack Obama for recent statements supporting Georgia. But he urged the administration to, in his words, "turn these good words into better policies."
Last month, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticized Russia for what she called its "occupation" of the two Georgian territories.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.