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Russian Defense Minister Comments on Kodori Operation
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 26 Jul.'06 / 16:10

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov said on July 26 that Moscow is concerned over developments in Kodori gorge and accused Georgia of violating the 1994 Moscow agreement, which bans the presence of armed forces in this troubled area.

“One more conflict is being triggered in the immediate vicinity of our border,” Ivanov told reporters.

He said that Russian peacekeeping troops have reported that “several” Iroquois helicopters of the Georgian armed forces landed in the upper Kodori gorge, where government forces are confronting local rebel warlord Emzar Kvitsiani and his militia group Monadire (Hunter).

Ivanov also said that the Abkhaz side has moved its troops towards the area and are now deployed in a lower Kodori gorge. He said that in the middle – between the Georgian-administered upper Kodori gorge and the Abkhaz-controlled lower Kodori gorge - there are the Russian peacekeepers’ checkpoints.

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