Russia to increase border troops deployed in Abkhazia, South Ossetia 2009-08-05 22:52:02   Print
°§Russia plans to expand troops it has deployed in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
°§By the end of the year there will be 1,500 troops in each of the two regions.
°§Ukraine was involved in arm shipments to Georgia prior to the brief war last summer.

    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 Union.

    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 region.

    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

Russia warns of using force to defend South Ossetia

   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 said Saturday.

   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

Georgian president hails Minsk's stance on Abkhazia, South Ossetia

   TBILISI, July 24 (Xinhua) -- President Mikhail Saakashvili on Friday welcomed an advisory from Belarus for its citizens to enter Georgia's two breakaway regions via Georgia rather than through Russia.

   Saakashvili hailed the decision as "bold" during a meeting with the ruling party's parliamentarians, Georgia's Kavkaz Press reported. Full Story

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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