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Bolton: U.S. Took Necessary Sanctions Against Russia Over 2008 War In Georgia

John Bolton in Tbilisi on October 26
John Bolton in Tbilisi on October 26

TBILISI -- U.S. national-security adviser John Bolton says Washington had taken all necessary sanctions against Russia related to the war it fought against Georgia in 2008.

Bolton told reporters in Tbilisi after talks with Georgia's top officials on October 26 that the United States supports Georgia's territorial integrity and independence.

Russia backs the separatist leadership in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which broke from Georgian central government control in the early 1990s, and Moscow waged a five-day war with Tbilisi over the two regions in August 2008.

Russia stepped up its military presence in the two regions after recognizing them as independent states. But the vast majority of countries rejects the regions' independence claims and shares Tbilisi’s view that they are Russian-occupied territory firmly within Georgia’s borders.

Bolton also said that the United States had invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to Washington, adding that U.S. President Donald Trump will briefly talk to Putin on the sidelines of events in Paris on November 11 to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War I.

Bolton, who held talks with Putin in Moscow earlier this week, has said Washington is in the process of deciding whether it will impose additional sanctions on Russia over the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Britain.

He also said that he discussed regional issues and U.S.-Georgian bilateral ties with Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani, Defense Minister Levan Izoria, Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia, and State Security Service chief Vakhtang Gomelauri.

Bolton arrived in Georgia after visiting neighboring Azerbaijan and Armenia.

With reporting by Reuters