This quote is important as Russia tries justifying the legality of recognising South Ossetia and Abkhazia independence by Soviet law of succession of a state. This is one of the main legal justifications which Armenian side brings about in relation to Karabakh independence too.
From the statement by Russian Foreign Ministry (emphasis mine):
"Since the outbreak of the conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia in early 1990s, as a result of Tbilisi actions, Russia has been doing its utmost to contribute to their settlement on the basis of recognition of the territorial integrity of Georgia. Russia has taken this position despite the fact that the proclamation by Georgia of its independence violated the right of Abkhazia and South Ossetia to self-determination. In accordance with the Law of the USSR "On the procedure for addressing the issues related to the secession of a Union's Republic", autonomous entities that formed part of Union's Republics were entitled to resolve themselves the issues of their stay within the Union and their state legal status in case of the secession of the Republic. Georgia prevented Abkhazia and South Ossetia from exercising that right."
*see also Russian parliament recognises Abkhazia and South Ossetia independence