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Georgian Speaker Protests To CIS Parliamentary Assembly

Nino Burdjanadze (file photo) (epa) 18 November 2005 -- The speaker of the Georgian parliament, Nino Burdjanadze, today accused "certain circles in Russia" of an unwillingness to develop a constructive dialogue with Georgia.

Burdjanadze made the accusations in a message to the CIS parliamentary assembly meeting in St. Petersburg today.

Burdjanadze had planned to lead a Georgian delegation to the meeting but canceled the trip, saying Russia had refused to issue an entry visa to a Georgian parliamentarian included in the official delegation.

The incident set off a diplomatic spat between Russia and Georgia.

In her message today, Burdjanadze said she believes Russia's refusal to grant Georgian lawmaker Givi Targamadze a visa was a "political step directed not only against Georgia, but against the CIS as an independent organization".

The Russian Embassy in Tbilisi on 17 November said Targamadze was initially refused an entry visa, but that the document was later issued to him.

Burdjanadze had been due to tell the CIS parliamentary assembly about Georgia's new proposals to settle its dispute with South Ossetia.

(Caucasus Press/Novosti Gruziya)

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