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Kremlin Criticizes Georgian-U.S. Military Exercises


A Georgian soldier holds his country's national flag as he and others take part in a launching ceremony ahead of the joint Georgian-U.S. military training exercises "Agile Spirit 2013" on March 18.

A Georgian soldier holds his country's national flag as he and others take part in a launching ceremony ahead of the joint Georgian-U.S. military training exercises "Agile Spirit 2013" on March 18.

Russia's Foreign Ministry has criticized a 12-day joint Georgian-U.S. military exercises that began earlier this week at Georgia's Vaziani military base.

Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich said on March 22 that the maneuvers are "actually a cause for concern."

Lukashevich accused Tbilisi of "refusing to come to terms with the new political realities" following the Russian-Georgian military conflict over Georgia's breakaway territory of South Ossetia in August 2008.

He added that any foreign military support for Georgia "will further complicate the prospects for improving peace and security in the region."

Moscow recognized the independence of Georgia's separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in 2008 and has kept troops there since then.

Georgia considers the two regions its sovereign territory and considers the Russian military presence an occupation.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax
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