TBILISI, DFWatch–Abkhaz leader is ready to drag the breakaway republic closer to Moscow by joining the Union State of Russia and Belarus. “We would like to join this union, we would gladly support this idea and be full members of this state,” said Thursday Aslan Bzhania, Abkhazia’s de facto president, in an interview with one of Russia’s key propagandists, Vladimir Solovyov.

“Abkhazia understands the need for a strong alliance with the Russian Federation in the new realities, when the unipolar world has collapsed. After the successful completion of the special operation in Ukraine, a completely different reality will come, and, based on who has shown himself to be a true friend of Russia, a new outline of the Union State will be created,” Bzhania said.

However, the difficulty of joining Abkhazia to the Union State lies at least in the fact that Belarus still refuses to recognize its independence. Its autocrat leader Alexander Lukashenko has so far managed to withstand pressure from Moscow. He, nevertheless, has reiterated several times that will be ready to recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Georgia’s another breakaway republic, as soon as Russia “lets him know that there is a real need for this.”

Russian MP and loyal ally of Putin Konstantin Zatulin said in an interview with Gazeta.ru on Thursday that it is unlikely that Sokhumi’s wish will be met with opposition in Moscow. Although he’s doubtful about Lukashenko, he, however, hopes that now the situation has changed and Minsk may become more pliable.

“I am not sure about the current position of Belarus, given the complex history of promises that Lukashenko made about the recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which he did not fulfill in the old days. But now times have changed, and it may very well be that his position has changed too. I believe that we should support the statement of the President of Abkhazia and hold talks on this issue with our ally in Minsk,” Zatuli said.