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Georgia, Russia Engage In Fresh Battle Of The Airwaves

(RFE/RL) 14 December 2005 – The Georgian Foreign Ministry today summoned Russia’s ambassador, Vladimir Chkhikvishvili, to deliver an official protest at comments by a Russian peacekeeper in the breakaway republic of Abkhazia.

In comments aired on 13 December on Russia's NTV television channel, the peacekeeper described Abkhazia as "an independent state that has been part of Georgia for only 30 or 40 years."

Also on 14 December, Georgia’s National Communications Commission fined Russia’s military command in the Caucasus 5,000 laris ($2,800) for illegally rebroadcasting Russian and Armenian television programs for its base in the southern Georgian region of Samtskhe-Javakheti.

Russia's military base in Akhalkalaki is partly manned by ethnic Armenian soldiers.

The chief-of-staff of the Russian military command in the region, Colonel Vladimir Kuparadze, rejected the claims and said the Russian military would not pay the fine.

Russia has two military bases in Georgia.

(Imedi TV/Kavkaz Press/Novosti-Gruziya/RIA-Novosti)

RFE/RL Caucasus Report

RFE/RL Caucasus Report

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