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South Ossetia Warns Georgia Against 'Aggression'

South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity (file photo) (ITAR-TASS) July 20, 2006 -- South Ossetia said today it will forcefully rebuff any attempt by Georgia to regain control over the separatist region.

In an interview with Reuters, South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity said any Georgian "aggression" would be met with a "tough answer."

The warning came after the Georgian parliament this week called for the exit of Russian peacekeeping troops from Abkhazia and South Ossetia, to be replaced by international forces.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on July 19 told Georgia not to interfere in its peacekeeping work.

That response was echoed on July 20 by Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, who added that the Georgian parliament's resolution is "unlikely to have any practical meaning."

(Reuters, AP)

RFE/RL Caucasus Report

RFE/RL Caucasus Report

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