Georgia Sees Russian Peacekeepers As Threatening Its Security
30 November 2005 -- Georgia says it considers Russian peacekeeping forces deployed in its breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia a threat to its security.
The assessment is made in Georgia's national military strategy, which was posted today on the Georgian Defense Ministry's website after its recent approval by parliament.
The military strategy also describes as a threat the two former Soviet military bases Russia is keeping in Georgia.
Moscow earlier this year agreed to vacate the two facilities by the end of 2008. However, no final document has yet been signed.
Russia has been maintaining peacekeeping forces in South Ossetia and Abkhazia since the two republics forcibly claimed de facto independence in the early 1990s.
Georgia accuses Russian troops of supporting the separatist governments and engaging in criminal activities.
Georgian Defense Ministry Irakli Okruashvili last week said that although Tbilisi opposes the Russian bases and peacekeepers, that does not mean it sees Russia itself as a threat to Georgian security.
Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
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