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Georgian PM Wary Of Russian 'Provocations'

Georgian Prime Minister Irakly Garibashvili (file photo)
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili says he expects "provocations" from Russia ahead of the signing of an Association Agreement with the European Union.

Speaking to journalists in Tbilisi on January 16, Garibashvili also said he was confident Tbilisi can withstand any fresh pressure from the Kremlin.

As an example of recent provocations, Garibashvili said, "Russia placed barbed wire on an administrative boundary" with Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia.

Georgia initialed a deal for closer ties with the EU in November 2013, which Moscow openly opposes.

Officials in Tbilisi say they hope to ratify the pact later this year.

Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and another Georgian breakaway region, Abkhazia, after a short war with Georgia in August 2008.

Moscow keeps troops in both regions, which Tbilisi considers its territory.

Based on reporting by AFP and Interfax