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Georgia Considering Withdrawal From CIS

Georgian winegrowers have been hit by the Russian ban on their products (file photo) (AFP) May 2, 2006 -- Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili today said his government will look into the possibility of withdrawing from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

During an address at a school in the city of Kutaisi, Saakashvili said Georgia must consider whether it gets any benefit from belonging to the bloc of former Soviet republics. If not, he said, Georgia should consider whether to remain a part of the CIS.

The statement comes amid heightened tensions between Georgia and Russia, which has banned imports of Georgian wine and spirits, a move Tbilisi says is politically motivated.

Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Okruashvili today said Georgia could retaliate with a ban on Russian beer.

(AP, AFP, Reuters)

RFE/RL Caucasus Report

RFE/RL Caucasus Report

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