Abkhazia today is in the peculiar state of having both entrenched its de facto separation from Georgia but also finding itself in almost complete international isolation. Recognition as an independent state in 2008 by Russia, (followed by Nauru, Nicaragua, Syria and Venezuela, four other countries with no close connections to the region), coincided with the closure of UNOMIG, the United Nations mission in the region, a reduced presence of international NGOs and humanitarian organizations there and a policy of unequivocal support for Georgia by its Western friends. Since then Abkhazia has become more secure and better off but also even more dependent on Russia, financially, militarily and politically. Yet the patron-client relationship is often strained. The two sides argue over several issues and Russian direct assistance has fallen in the last few years.