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Russia Warns Tbilisi against Use of Force in Adjara
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 14 Mar.'04 / 15:04

Russian Foreign Ministry warned again on March 14 Georgia’s central authorities against dispatching troops to Adjara Autonomous Republic.

“If there is a crisis, all responsibility will lie with the Georgian leadership," Alexander Yakovenko, a spokesman for Russian Foreign Ministry told a news conference in Moscow.

"There are grounds to think that Tbilisi is planning to use force,” Yakovenko also said.

A Ministry’s official added that the recent developments in Adjara trigger Moscow’s concerns.

Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry accused Georgia’s central authorities of attempts to overthrow Adjarian leadership.

The Russian Ministry’s statement issued on March 12 reads, Tbilisi trains its law enforcement agencies and organizes protest rallies in Batumi, Adjarian capital, “to overthrow the legal authorities in Adjara.”

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili was barred from entering Adjara this morning as hundreds of armed men blocked the administrative border between Adjara and the rest of Georgia.

President Saakashvili warned Russia on March 14, who has a military base in the Adjarian capital Batumi, not to interfere in the standoff between Tbilisi and Batumi.

“There is information that the Russian militaries in Batumi offered Abashidze assistance,” Mikheil Saakashvili said.

“Not a single Russian tank should move from the military base, because this [Adjara] is our territory,” Saakashvili added.

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