Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat yesterday said that he "respected the will of the people" of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, two breakaway Georgian provinces whose independence Russia recognized this week. On a visit to the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce, asked about Russia's controversial recognition, Talat said, "No people should be left to live under the yoke of any other country." He added, "This should be clearly understood. The Turkish Cypriots have experienced the same things. It was Turkey which helped and recognized us. The Turkish Cypriots have shown many times our determination not to live under the yoke of the Greek Cypriots, which attacked us. For this reason, I understand very well the people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and respect them."
Countries who are not signatories to the Montreaux Convention should nevertheless abide by it, said Russian Ambassador to Ankara Vladimir Ivanovski yesterday. At a press conference at the Russian Embassy about recent developments in the Caucasus, asked about Turkey's proposal for a Caucasus cooperation and stability platform, Ivanovski said the foreign ministers of the two countries will meet early next month. Asked about Montreux, Ivanovski said that Turkey and Russia's position on it was the same, adding that everyone should abide by it, apparently implying the US.