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Georgia Preparing Report On Russian Peacekeepers

(RFE/RL) 21 January 2006 -- The Georgian government is preparing a report on the activities of Russian peacekeepers in the breakaway republic of South Ossetia, Deputy Foreign Minister Valery Chechelashvili said on 21 January.

Chechelashvili believes all hopes of a positive assessment of Russia's role in South Ossetia have now disappeared.

Once completed, the report will be handed over to lawmakers for examination.

Several prominent members of the Georgian parliament on 20 January criticized Russia for using its peacekeeping mandate to exert pressure on Tbilisi.

In addition, Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Okruashvili said he had evidence "that Russian soldiers are involved in arms smuggling and terrorist acts."

The Georgian legislature is due to decide next month whether to demand the withdrawal of Russian troops from South Ossetia.

Russian peacekeepers have been stationed in the region since it forcibly won de facto independence from Georgia in 1992.

(Novosti-Gruziya, Prime News)

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RFE/RL Caucasus Report

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