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Russian Foreign Minister's Planned Visit To Abkhazia Angers Tbilisi


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (file photo)

Georgia has sharply criticized Moscow about a visit to the breakaway Abkhazia region by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

The Georgian prime minister's special representative for relations with Russia, Zurab Abashidze, said on April 18 that Lavrov's two-day visit was a "violation of Georgia's sovereignty."

Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister David Jalagania said Russia was "ignoring...international principles and laws."

On April 18, Lavrov met with the breakaway region's separatist leadership and attended a ceremony marking the opening of new buildings that Russia describes as its embassy and consulate in Abkhazia.

Abkhazia broke from Georgia's central government control in a 1992-93 war.

Russia recognized Abkhazia and breakaway South Ossetia as independent countries after fighting a five-day war against Tbilisi in 2008.

Only a handful of countries followed suit, while the vast majority consider that Abkhazia and South Ossetia are still regions of Georgia.

Russia maintains thousands of troops in the two breakaway regions.

With reporting by RIA, TASS, and apsny.ge
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