South Ossetia and Abkhazia will seek independence from Tbilisi under international law, the leaders of Georgia''s two rebel regions said Thursday at a joint news conference in Moscow.

South Ossetia''s Eduard Kokoity said Georgia''s attack on August 8 made it possible for the two separatist provinces to seek further international recognition.

"Despite the severe blow to our nation, South Ossetians'' will and striving for independence remains unchanged," he said. "We will seek independence in strict compliance with international law."

His pledge was echoed by Abkhazian President Sergei Bagapsh: "As to our independence, as to our progress toward this goal, no force will make us stop. The goal has been set, and we will advance toward this goal together."

Bagapsh said both breakaway provinces ruled out the possibility of talks with Georgia on their status.

"There was a little possibility of establishing dialogue before the aggression in South Ossetia, through mediators, through the [UN] secretary general, and politicians visited, [now] there will be no dialogues, no talks with Georgia," Bagapsh said.

The Abkhazian leader added: "Georgia has hammered a huge rusty nail into its integrity."