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Abkhazia Slams Call For Russian Forces To Withdraw

A Russian peacekeeper in the Gali district of Abkhazia (file photo) (ITAR-TASS) July 19, 2006 -- The leader of Georgia's Abkhazia region today denounced the Georgian parliament's call for Russian peacekeepers to withdraw from the breakaway region.

President Sergei Bagapsh called the parliament's initiative a "destructive political decision."

Georgia's parliament on July 18 called for the Russian peacekeeping troops in the separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia to be replaced by international forces.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov responded on July 19 to the resolution by telling Georgia not to interfere in its peacekeeping work.

Lavrov told the "Ekho Moskvy" radio station that Georgia "was systematically sabotaging" efforts to resolve the conflicts in South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

(AP, Reuters)

RFE/RL Caucasus Report

RFE/RL Caucasus Report

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