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Georgia's move to scrap visas for N. Caucasus republics 'propaganda' - Lavrov

RIA Novosti

12:24 12/10/2010

MOSCOW, October 12 (RIA Novosti) - Georgia's decision to scrap visas for residents of Russia's North Caucasus republics is yet another "propaganda move" by Tbilisi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday.

The decision has not been discussed with Russia, Lavrov said.

"It looks more like yet another propagandist move," he added.

Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Nino Kalandadze said on Monday that Georgia was planning to introduce a visa-free regime with Dagestan, Chechnya, Ingushetia, North Ossetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay-Cherkessia, and Adygeya.

The visa-free regime will come into effect from October 13, the Georgian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

Russians outside the North Caucasus need a visa to enter Georgia.

Tbilisi severed diplomatic ties with Moscow after a five-day war in August 2008 over Georgia's breakaway republic of South Ossetia. Russia recognized South Ossetia and another breakaway republic, Abkhazia, shortly after ceasefire.

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