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Georgian Official Critical Of Kremlin's Actions

29 July 2005 -- Georgian parliament speaker Nino Burdjanadze has called on Russia to cease activities that encourage internal conflicts in Georgia.

In an interview with Interfax news agency, Burdjanadze said today that Russian support encourages separatist leaders in Abkhazia and South Ossetia to defy the central government.

The parliament speaker said a key to healthy Russia-Georgia relations is that Russia respect Georgia's territorial integrity.

Georgia's central government lost control over Abkhazia and South Ossetia during wars in the early 1990s. President Mikheil Saakashvili has pledged to bring the two breakaway regions back into the fold.

Yesterday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov denied as "woeful nonsense" allegations that Russian intelligence services are engaged in acts of terrorism and sabotage in Georgia.

(AFP/Caucasus Press)