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30 September 2005 -- Georgian police today detained two Russian peacekeepers serving in Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia for allegedly selling smuggled gasoline.
A Georgian security officer said one of the soldiers had confessed to illegal sales, and that the equivalent of $800 was confiscated from him.
The soldiers were stationed with the Collective Peacekeeping Forces in the Zugdidi district in southern Georgia. Russian peacekeepers have been deployed in the area of the Georgia-Abkhazia conflict since June 1994.
The detentions came amid increasing tensions over the peacekeepers' activity. Yesterday, Georgian parliamentary speaker Nino Burjanadze said the legislature may demand the peacekeepers' pullout
from Abkhazia by July and another separatist region, South Ossetia, by February if they did not show progress on their mission.
Georgia: Tensions Again On The Rise In South Ossetia
Georgia: Can Moves Toward Abkhaz-Georgian Rapprochement Continue?