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Sergei Ivanov (file photo) (epa)
December 16, 2006 -- Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov has said that Russia did not impose sanctions on neighboring Georgia, but that the transport and trade blockade was commercially justified.
In October, Moscow cut postal, rail, and air links with Georgia, stopped issuing visas to Georgians, and began deporting illegal Georgian immigrants after Tbilisi briefly arrested Russian Army officers and accused them of spying.
Speaking to foreign correspondents in Moscow on December 15, Ivanov said that Georgian airlines "owe us money," and that a ban on Georgia wine imports in place since March was due to Georgia exporting wine from other countries rebranded as its own.
Ivanov also accused Georgia of seeking war with the Russian-backed breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.