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9 November 2005 -- Eight Eastern European countries pledged today to support Georgia in resolving two separatist conflicts which have plagued the country for more than a decade.
The group, which includes Romania, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, and Bulgaria, gathered in the Romanian capital Bucharest in a reunion dubbed "The new friends of Georgia."
The former communist countries offered to help Georgia in its drive to get closer ties with the West and better enforce its borders.
Russian peacekeepers have been deployed in South Ossetia and Abkhazia since the early 1990s.
Georgian authorities have repeatedly accused the peacekeepers of siding with separatists and failing to help the return of ethnic Georgian refugees to their homes.
Both breakaway provinces have enjoyed close ties with Moscow, which has granted Russian citizenship to many of their residents.