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Ukraine denies giving military aid to Georgia

RIA Novosti

29/08/2008 20:48 KIEV, August 29 (RIA Novosti) - The Ukrainian Defense Ministry categorically denied on Friday that Ukrainian military experts are helping to rebuild Georgia's army communications network, damaged in a five-day conflict with Russia.

Deputy chief of the Russian General Staff, Col. Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn said on Thursday that a British non-governmental organization was training Georgian explosive experts, and Ukrainian specialists were helping install an army communications network in Georgia.

"This statement is absolutely false. There are no Ukrainian service personnel on Georgian territory, except military observers serving with the UN mission and a military attache at the Ukrainian embassy in Georgia," the ministry said in a statement.

Ukraine earlier dismissed Russian accusations that it had supplied offensive weaponry to Georgia, including multiple rocket launchers used by the Georgian military in the conflict with South Ossetia.

Georgia attacked South Ossetia on August 8 in an attempt to regain control over the separatist republic, which split from Tbilisi in the early 1990s. Most people living in South Ossetia have Russian citizenship and Moscow subsequently launched an operation to "force Georgia to accept peace." The operation was concluded on August 12.

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev signed decrees Tuesday recognizing South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states and called on other countries to follow suit, although none has.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko said Wednesday that Russia's decision to recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia constitutes a threat to all of Europe's security and undermines international law.

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