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U.S., NATO, EU Concerned Over Russia Deal With Separatists

The United States, NATO, and the European Union have expressed serious concern over border defense agreements signed by Russia and the separatist Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, saying the treaties go against ceasefire deals brokered after last summer's Georgian war.

U.S., NATO, and EU statements said the deals contravene Russia's commitments under the August 12 EU-brokered ceasefire agreement that ended the brief war between Russia and Georgia last August.

Under the deal, signed on April 30 in Moscow by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev the separatist leaders of the two regions, Russia has formally taken responsibility for the defense of Abkhazia's and South Ossetia's de-facto borders with the rest of Georgia.

Moscow recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states after last summer's war.

The signing of the treaties came one week before NATO is due to hold exercises in Georgia that Russia has objected to, and shortly after NATO this week expelled two Russian diplomats from the alliance's Brussels headquarters over spying allegations.

with agency reports