MOSCOW, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- Russia cannot rule out
military action in dealing with mounting tensions with neighboring Georgia, the
daily Kommersant reported on Monday.
diplomatic steps that are usually taken in such strained relations have been
exhausted ... The next action could be the breaking of diplomatic relations and
a military operation," the report warned, quoting an unnamed source with
Russia's Defense Ministry.
Relations between Moscow and Tbilisi have been
increasingly strained since Georgian authorities arrested four Russian officers
last week, charging them with spying activities.
Russia has recalled its ambassador in Tbilisi and
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered his first
public comments on the crisis on Sunday, denouncing the arrest as "an act of
state terrorism involving the taking of hostages."
Meanwhile, Gen. Andrei Popov, the commander of
Russian military forces in Georgia, has put his troops on high alert and ordered
them to use whatever means to defend their bases "from aggression."
"We are ready to thwart any possible attempts to
penetrate our facilities using all means, including shoot to kill," Popov said.
Russia has between 3,000 and 4,000 troops at two
military bases in Georgia. According to a deal signed last year, Moscow agreed
to pull out all the troops by the end of 2008.
Gen. Alexander Baranov, the commander of Russia's
North Caucasus military district, said on Saturday that the withdrawal would be
suspended as a result of the officers' arrest. Enditem
Putin orders further troops withdrawal from
MOSCOW, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- The
Georgian Foreign Ministry slammed high-ranking Russian officials on Sunday as
threatening "to use force" following Georgian authorities' detention of four
Russian military officers, the Interfax news agency reported.
Putin denounces Georgia's detention of Russian
officers as "state terrorism"
MOSCOW, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin on
Sunday denounced as an "act of state terrorism" the Georgian measures to
continue the detention of four Russian military officers amid a growing row
between Russia and Georgia.
MOSCOW, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- The Georgian Foreign Ministry
slammed high-ranking Russian officials on Sunday as threatening "to use force"
following Georgian authorities' detention of four Russian military officers, the
Interfax news agency reported.