Russia Recognizes Breakaway Georgian Regions

MOSCOW — Western governments are already criticizing Russia’s decision to formally recognize the breakaway territories at the heart of its war with Georgia.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev made the announcement a day after Russia’s parliament voted unanimously to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice calls the decision “extremely unfortunate.” She says the U.S. regards Abkhazia and South Ossetia as “part of the internationally recognized borders of Georgia.”

Rice says the U.S. will use its veto power in the U.N. Security Council to block any Russian attempt to change their status.

Britain, Germany and France also criticized the decision.