Russian MPs back Georgia's rebels
Russia's parliament has backed a motion urging the president to recognise the independence of Georgia's breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Both houses voted unanimously in favour of the non-binding motion, which analysts say could help President Dmitry Medvedev in talks with the West.
The US said any move to recognise independence of the two regions would be contrary to international law.
Russia and Georgia fought a brief war this month over the two provinces.
Moscow launched a counter-attack after Tbilisi tried to retake South Ossetia by military force.
The US and a number of Western governments have backed Georgia, sending aid and issuing strongly-worded statements.
Responding to the parliamentary vote, the US state department said recognition of the two provinces' independence would be "a violation of Georgian territorial integrity" and "inconsistent with international law".
It make sense giving these states independance, the people that live there are of Russian desent. What does the US state department want ethnic cleansing because if Georgia is allowed to govern these states thats what will happen.