Georgia: The World's Smallest Island Nation Recognizes Abkhazia
De facto Abkhaz President Sergei Bagapsh declared on December 15 that Nauru, an 8.2-square-mile Pacific Ocean island that ranks as the world's smallest country, has recognized Abkhazia as independent from Georgia.
The declaration comes one day after tiny Nauru's foreign minister announced plans to follow the lead of the world's largest country in terms of territory -- Russia -- and recognize Abkhazia and fellow breakaway region South Ossetia.
"The number of people who live in the country with which Abkhazia today has set up diplomatic relations does not matter," the Russian daily Kommersant quoted Bagapsh as saying. Nauru has a population of just over 14,000 people.
Russian media outlets reported that Nauru can expect a hefty financial reward from Moscow for its action. Kommersant claimed that Nauru's foreign minister, Kirene Keke, asked his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, to provide $50 million in aid to financially troubled Nauru. Phosphate deposits created from sea bird droppings are the island's export staple, but international demand for the deposits is currently is flat, the newspaper wrote.