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Russian-Georgian Tensions Continue


http://gdb.rferl.org/73608275-362F-4F5B-8032-64F52689143C_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/73608275-362F-4F5B-8032-64F52689143C_mw800_mh600.jpg Mikheil Saakashvili (file photo) (InterPressNews) October 7, 2006 -- Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has warned against Russia's "racist rhetoric" and called for European backing amid the fallout from a spying row.

Saakashvili, in an interview with the French daily "Le Figaro," said Russia's "racist rhetoric" was previously directed against the Chechens, now it was the Georgians.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in turn called on the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to put pressure on Tbilisi to drop its "irresponsible" policies.

Russia severed transport and postal links with Georgia despite the release by Georgian authorities of four Russian soldiers arrested last month on charges of spying.

On October 6, Russia deported more than 130 Georgians to Tbilisi allegedly for lacking proper documents. Russia has also stopped issuing visas for Georgians and police have raided a number of Georgian-owned restaurants.

(compiled from agency reports)
Moscow And Tbilisi

Russian military hardware being withdrawn from a Russian base in Batumi, Georgia, in August 2005 (TASS)

WHAT COMES NEXT? Although Russia is unlikely to push an aggressive military response to the current tensions with Georgia, it has a number of economic, political, and diplomatic options at its disposal. Already on October 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin summoned his inner circle to weigh Moscow's options... (more)


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MORE: Coverage of the situation in Georgian from RFE/RL's Georgian Service and in Russian from RFE/RL's Russian Service.


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