Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Moscow worried by Georgian build-up near South Ossetia, Abkhazia

The Russian foreign ministry Friday said Georgia's expanding military presence on the borders of Abkhazia and South Ossetia continued to be a matter for grave concern.

It said the Georgian military and the police presence called for 'special attention on the part of the UN and other international organisations operating in the region'.

A week ago, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a news conference that: 'EU monitors working in areas adjacent to South Ossetia and Abkhazia have been reporting a build-up of Georgian military units and special forces near the borders with South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and our 'technical devices' have also recorded this. Provocations also occur sporadically. We are concerned by this.'

Moscow Thursday criticised a refusal by Tbilisi to allow Russian inspectors to access military installations on its territory. Russia requested Georgia to allow its experts access to Georgian military installations for evaluation and verification in accordance with a 1999 Vienna OSCE (the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) document on confidence and security-building measures. Georgia rejected the request.


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