MOSCOW, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- Russia plans to increase
the number of troops it has deployed in Georgia's breakaway regions of Abkhazia
and South Ossetia from around 1,800 to 3,000 by the end of the year, a deputy
foreign minister said Wednesday.
"Presently, there are some 1,000 Russian military
personnel in Abkhazia and up to 800 in South Ossetia," Grigory Karasin said,
quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency.
He said that by the end of the year there will be
1,500 troops in each region.
Karasin also said Russia has verified reports that
say Ukraine was involved in arm shipments to Georgia prior to the brief war
between Georgia and Russia last summer.
"We do hope that Ukraine, as a state near to us, will
stop playing these dangerous games, creating problems in current relations,
already problematical," he said.
Tensions in the border area between Georgia and its
breakaway region of South Ossetia were heightened days before the first
anniversary of Georgia's brief war with Russia in August last year.
While Georgia accused South Ossetia of shooting at
Georgian villages, South Ossetian authorities said the suburbs of its capital of
Tskhinvali were attacked by Georgian mortars. No one was hurt in the shootings.
South Ossetia and Abkhazia broke away from Tbilisi's
rule during a war in the 1990s that followed the collapse of the former Soviet
Russia and Georgia fought a five-day war last summer,
when Georgia attacked South Ossetia to retake the renegade region that borders
Russia. In response, Moscow sent in troops to drive Georgian forces out of the
Russia recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia as
independent states two weeks after the conflict ended.
TBILISI, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- Leader of Georgia's breakaway
region of South Ossetia, Eduard Kokoity, announced the closure of the
administrative border with Georgia from Tuesday midnight, forbidding any
vehicles or passengers to cross over.
A statement published on the website of South
Ossetia's news department said the closure was aimed at "guarding against
further provocations from the Georgian side." Full Story
MOSCOW, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- Russia has deployed its troops
and border guards in Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia on increased
alert following provocations from Georgia, Russian news agency RIA Novosti
reported on Tuesday.
"The situation is really worrisome, provocations from the
Georgian side on the eve of the anniversary of the August events last year are
continuing," Andrei Nesterenko, spokesman for Russian Foreign Ministry, said in
a statement posted on the ministry's website.Full Story
MOSCOW, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- Russia, concerned over recent
shootings in the border area between Georgia and its breakaway region South
Ossetia, could use military force to defend South Ossetia, the Defense Ministry
Georgia opened fire on South Ossetia several times in the past
few days, which is causing "serious concerns in the Russian Defense Ministry,"
the ministry stated.Full Story