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Georgia Accuses Russia Of 'Serious Policy Change' Toward It

(RFE/RL) 1 February 2006 -- Georgia's UN ambassador today said the Kremlin intentionally interrupted natural gas delivery to Georgia, and has consolidated a "de facto annexation" of Abkhazia, a separatist region in Georgia.

Speaking to reporters at the United Nations, Revaz Adamia said that Russia has adopted a "serious policy change" toward his country, citing the sudden cutting off of delivery of natural gas, which he said was not coincidental.

A pipeline carrying much needed gas to the Georgian capital Tbilisi exploded last week, leaving residents freezing in the mid winter cold.

Adamia also said Russia has deepened its hold on Abkhazia by granting Russian citizenship to the people and training Abkhazian military officers in Russia.

After 1991, when Georgia became independent of the USSR, Abkhazia agitated for its own independence. An estimated 300,000 Georgians were expelled from Abkhazia, and Adamia said 10,000 Georgians died in the conflict.

A UN observer mission has been monitoring a ceasefire between Abkhazia and the Georgian government.

(Reuters, dpa)

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