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Russia Postpones Georgian Lawmakers' Visit to Moscow --> The South Ossetian border (file photo) (ITAR-TASS) 24 February 2006 -- Georgian officials say Russia has postponed a planned visit to Moscow by a group of Georgian lawmakers.

David Bakradze, head of Georgia's parliamentary committee on European integration, said Russian had wanted more time to prepare for the talks.

Georgian lawmakers had been scheduled to travel to Moscow on 26 February. The visit is now planned for mid-March.

Last week, Russia postponed a visit by Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Noghaideli that had been planned for 26-28 February.

The already tense relations between Russia and Georgia have been further strained by a series of recent incidents involving Russian peacekeepers in the breakaway republic of South Ossetia and Georgian forces.

Georgia's parliament on 15 February called for the withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers from South Ossetia.


South Ossetia Cease-Fire

Former Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze (RFE/RL)

'NO OTHER WAY OUT': Georgia's parliament on February 15 called upon the government to review the 1992 agreement that put an end to the war with South Ossetia and secure the withdrawal of all Russian peacekeepers stationed in the separatist republic. Officials in Tbilisi have long accused the Russian soldiers of siding with the separatist forces and posing a threat to Georgia's national security. Russia has protested the Georgian vote, arguing that Tbilisi has no right unilaterally to amend the 1992 peace agreement. Georgia, in turn, says it has the right to do so.

RFE/RL's Georgian Service correspondent Nona Mchedlishvili asked former President EDUARD SHEVARDNADZE, who signed the agreement with his then Russian counterpart, Boris Yeltsin, to comment on the dispute....(more)

See also:

Tbilisi Seeks EU Support As Tensions Rise In South Ossetia

Tbilisi, Moscow At Odds Over South Ossetia Resolution