Russia to Pay Nauru $50M to Recognize South Ossetia

The island nation of Nauru. Source: ARM Image LibraryRussia is planning to pay the island nation of Nauru tens of millions of dollars to recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states, reported Kommersant on Monday.

According to the report, which cited unnamed sources, Russia was considering paying Nauru up to 50 million dollars, which the island had requested for “urgent social-economic projects.”

The newspaper further reported that prior to an announcement in Tskhinvali by Nauruan Foreign Minister Kieren Keke that his country was ready to recognize South Ossetia, he had been in a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow to discuss financial aid from Russia to the small country.

Russia recognized the independence of the breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia after a military conflict with Georgia in August 2008. The only other countries to recognize the two republics are Nicaragua and Venezuela, the latter of which only did so after receiving 2.2 billion dollars in Russia credit.

The attempt that followed to elicit recognition from Ecuador turned out to be unsuccessful: President Rafael Correa failed to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and also failed to receive any Russian credit.

The Republic of Nauru is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean that covers approximately 8 square miles and has an estimated population of 14 thousand people. Nauru’s government is notorious for its atypical methods of obtaining income, including becoming a haven for illegal money laundering, selling passports to foreigners, and running Australia’s illegal migrant detention center.