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‘Russia Responsible for S.Ossetia Tensions’ – Tbilisi Says
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 7 Aug.'08 / 14:36

Russia should use its influence over South Ossetian secessionist authorities to persuade them to stop shelling Georgian villages in the region and to engage in direct talks with Tbilisi, the Georgian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on August 7.

“We call on the Russian Federation to secure the separatists' engagement in direct talks with the Georgia’s central authorities, instead of encouraging them to launch military actions,” the statement reads. “The Russian Federation is solely responsible for recent developments.”

The Georgian MFA said that Russian supply of arms and ammunition to the secessionist authorities amounted to “yet another act of aggression against Georgia.”

It also laid out priorities, which Tbilisi thinks will help to defuse tensions and prevent armed confrontation in the future.

“Joint [Russian-Georgian] monitoring of the Roki Tunnel [linking S.Ossetia with Russia’s North Ossetia] should be urgently established; the number of OSCE observers on the ground should be increased; the current [quadripartite] negotiating format should be immediately replaced with direct talks between the parties; the return of displaced persons to the region should also be immediately launched,” the Foreign Ministry said.

“Separatists are managing to maintain power only through the assistance provided by Russia in terms of military, technical and human resources,” it said. “We hope that wisdom will prevail in Russia and talks planned for today [in Tskhinvali] will not be thwarted.”

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