|EU denounces Russian minister's visit to Abkhazia, South Ossetia|
|April 29, 2011|
Brussels - The European Union on Thursday criticized Russia's foreign minister for travelling to the disputed republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia this week without approval from Georgia.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited the two breakaway regions at the start of the week to sign bilateral agreements on transport, rescue operations and cultural centres, according to Russian media.
'The EU does not consider these visits compatible with the principle of territorial integrity,' said a statement from the EU's foreign policy chief.
The two territories were at the centre of a brief war in 2008 between Russia and Georgia. Russia now recognizes the two South Caucasus regions as independent, while the West considers them to be part of Georgia.
'The EU reiterates its support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and underlines the importance of a peaceful conflict resolution,' the statement said.
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