A Rusisan peacekeeper in South Ossetia (file photo) (AFP)
June 27, 2006 -- Georgia's Foreign Ministry has protested Russian involvement in the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia.
In an official note released on June 26, Georgia accused the Kremlin of directly assisting the local authorities.
The statement accused Russian officials from a neighboring province of meeting with breakaway leaders without Georgia's prior approval, calling such moves "a severe violation of the fundamental principles of international rights and norms."
President Putin at a Kremlin meeting in April (epa)
PUTIN SPEAKS OUT: During a January press conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin said there is a need for "universal principles" to settle "frozen" conflicts in the CIS. His comments came against the background of impending talks on the future status of Kosovo, which many predict will grant it a form of "conditional independence" from Serbia and Montenegro. As an ally of Serbia, Moscow has consistently opposed the idea of Kosovar independence. Putin's remarks suggest he may be shifting his position, but only if the principles applied to Kosovo are also applied to frozen conflicts in the former Soviet Union. If Kosovo can be granted full independence, he asked, why should we deny the same to Abkhazia and South Ossetia? (more)