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Georgian Minister Travels To Russia Following Parliament Vote


Khaindrava (left) meeting with Western ambassadors in Tbilisi on 14 February to discuss the peacekeepers issue (InterPressNews) 16 February 2006 -- Georgia's Minister for Conflict Resolution Giorgi Khaindrava arrives in Moscow today, one day after the Georgian parliament called for the withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers from Georgia's breakaway republic of South Ossetia.


During his three-day visit, Khaindrava is expected to have consultations with Russian Foreign Ministry officials.


On 15 February, Georgian lawmakers backed a resolution recommending that the government seek the withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers from South Ossetia and also review a 1992 Georgian-Russian agreement ending the 18-month war between Tbilisi and South Ossetia.


The resolution is nonbinding and gives the government no deadline.


Khaindrava on 15 February said the government will fulfill parliament's recommendation.


"Georgian society gave a task to the Georgian parliament and the parliament has fulfilled that task," Khaindrava said. "We will now fulfill this task given to us by the parliament. The situation is absolutely clear here. We have all legal grounds, based on international practice and international law, to put this question on the agenda and to implement [this decision]."


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov the same day said Georgia could not unilaterally revise the 1992 agreement.


The Russian Foreign Ministry today warned that Georgia could be on a path to destabilizing the region.


(Interfax, Novosti-Gruziya)

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