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Interior Minister: No Threat of Direct Aggression
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 9 Sep.'10 / 18:56

Although Russia is sparing no efforts to discredit Georgia, no threat of aggression exists, Vano Merabishvili, Georgia’s powerful interior minister, said.

“I actually rule out threat of direct aggression against Georgia in the near future,” he told journalists after addressing a meeting of Georgian diplomats on September 9.

“Russia never misses a chance to discredit Georgia, to stage provocations against Georgia,” Merabishvili said and added Russia was now more focused on disseminating disinformation about Georgia.

“Russia aims at undermining Georgia’s image as a stable, civilized country; but figures showing increasing number of tourists in Georgia, demonstrates that the west believes less in Russia’s provocative statements,” he said.

Merabishvili said “hungry and aggressive” Russian troops “have not crossed a single square meter” beyond the administrative border; the Georgian newspaper Kviris Paltra reported this week that the Russian forces moved the border two kilometers deeper into the Georgian-controlled territory – the report which was not substantiated. 

Also on September 8, President Saakashvili speaking while visiting a factory, which is now under construction, not far from the breakaway South Ossetia’s administrative border, said that “occupants were watching” Georgia’s development with a “surprise.” 

“Occupants are standing over there [pointing finger in direction of administrative border with breakaway South Ossetia] and looking at us with surprise. They represent country with huge resources with lots of opportunities and lots of income from oil, but they still live like beggars – I mean soldiers and officers. At first they watched us with surprise building these houses [for displaced persons from South Ossetia], while they still live in tents; then they saw how we cultivated this land with the help of Americans and who income was created for [IDP] families… and now, in order to pour salt on their surprise, we show them how we build a factory here,” Saakashvili said.
 
“What they have gained? And how Georgia is developing? – that’s the difference we are making,” Saakashvili said. “We are building the state – something that they will not even see in their dreams.”

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