Klaus: Kosovo led to Caucasus recognitions

TOKYO -- Czech President Vaclav Klaus says Russia's South Ossetia and Abkhazia decision was provoked by Kosovo.

Klaus said today that Moscow's move to recognize the two Georgian regions as independent states came because some western countries recognize Kosovo.

The Czech president also blamed Georgia for the recent war in the Caucasus.

"If there had been no Kosovo, no independence recognition would have taken place," Klaus the Japanese daily Yomiuri of the South Ossetia and Abkhazia situations.

"Georgia was the first to attack South Ossetia," the Czech president was also quoted as saying.

Klaus, who is in Tokyo to participate in an international scientific forum, said that it is wrong to present Russia as the negative side in the Caucasian conflict, Itar-Tass reported.

"It would be a tragic mistake to picture Russia as a villain and again divide the world in two. Russia is not the former Soviet Union," the Czech president said.