(Reuters) - Russian politicians from both houses of parliament urged the Kremlin to recognise two rebel regions of Georgia on Monday, a move likely to worsen relations with the West which are already strained by Moscow’s military intervention in the area.
The issue of South Ossetia’s independence has bedevilled Georgia’s relations with Russia. Here is a short chronology of recent major events:
April 16 - Russian President Vladimir Putin orders officials to establish semi-official ties with separatist administrations in Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Georgia says the order is a violation of international law.
April 29 - Russia despatches extra troops to Abkhazia to counter what it says are Georgian plans for an attack. The next day NATO accuses Moscow of increasing tensions with Georgia.
May 6 - Georgia says Russia’s deployment of extra troops in Abkhazia has brought the prospect of war “very close”.
May 31 - Putin, now prime minister, says he backs a Georgian proposal for Abkhazia’s autonomy but not full independence.
July 5 - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev urges Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili to refrain from “stoking tensions” in Georgia’s breakaway regions.
July 10 - Georgia recalls its ambassador from Moscow in protest over Russian fighters flying into Georgian airspace over South Ossetia days earlier.
August 4 - Russia accuses Georgia of using excessive force in South Ossetia after the Russian-backed rebels said Georgian artillery had killed at least six people.
August 7 - The head of Russian peacekeepers in the region is quoted as saying Georgia and South Ossetian separatists agreed on a truce until they hold Russian-mediated talks.
-- Russia later says Georgia’s military operation in South Ossetia shows Tbilisi cannot be trusted and NATO should reconsider its plans to admit Georgia.
August 8 - Russia sends forces into Georgia to repel a Georgian assault on South Ossetia.
-- Saakashvili says the two countries are at war.
August 12 - Medvedev issues orders to stop fighting in the five-day war conflict. Both sides sign up in principle to a plan brokered by French President Nicolas Sarkozy on behalf of the European Union.
August 16 - Russia signs a peace deal to end the fighting in Georgia but said “extra security measures” were needed before it could begin withdrawing its troops.
August 22 - Russia says it has completed the pullout from Georgia of troops it sent in to reinforce peacekeepers, adding that meant it had complied with a French-brokered ceasefire.
August 25 - Both chambers of Russia’s parliament pass resolutions urging Medvedev to recognise South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent.