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Georgian Lawmakers Protest Over Russian TV Program

(RFE/RL) 14 December 2005 -- Georgian lawmakers have protested over a recent Russian television program that allegedly supported Abkhazia's independence claims.

The program was broadcast on 13 December on Russia's NTV television channel. In it, a Russian peacekeeper reportedly described the separatist republic of Abkhazia as an "independent state that has remained part of Georgia only 30 to 40 years."

Georgian pro-government lawmaker Kote Gabashvili suggested on 14 December that Tbilisi retaliate by taking all Russian television programs off the air. Opposition parliamentarian Pikria Chikhradze demanded that the Georgian government officially react to the NTV broadcast.

Parliament speaker Nino Burjanadze in turn recalled that lawmakers in October voted a resolution urging Russia to ensure that its troops in Abkhazia and South Ossetia stick to their peacekeeping mission, or face expulsion.

(Imedi TV/Rustavi 2/Novosti-Gruziya/Civil Georgia)