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- ABC News The United States infuriated Russia on Wednesday by recognizing the independence of Georgia's breakaway provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The move came days after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed an order recognizing the two regions as independent states. The U.S. recognition of the two provinces, which have been part of Georgia since the collapse of the Soviet Union, is the latest move in a long-running dispute between the two countries. The United States has long supported Georgia's territorial integrity and has been a vocal critic of Russia's 2008 invasion of the country. The U.S. decision to recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia was met with strong condemnation from Moscow. The Russian foreign ministry issued a statement saying that the U.S. move "will further complicate the situation in the region." It said that Moscow "reserves the right to take appropriate measures to protect its interests." The U.S. move, however, has been welcomed by Georgia. "This is the first time in history that an international actor has recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia," Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashv