Russia Says Georgia’s Caucasus Statement Distorts Reality

MOSCOW, April 4 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday criticized a statement by the Georgian Foreign Ministry at talks last week in Geneva, saying the remarks distort the situation in the Caucasus.

While discussing security issues at the 27th round of the mediated Geneva discussions between Russia and Georgia, the Georgian Foreign Ministry diligently listed its accusations, while failing to mention the claims have been completely rejected by Russia along with the Georgian breakaway republics Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which Moscow recognized as independent in August 2008.

“In particular, they describe a so-called airspace infringement of Georgia that was never recorded by anyone, a strengthening of Russian military infrastructure, which is definitely an invention, and then there is ‘the restringing of barbed wire’ along the border after the Sochi Olympics, which are all provocative inventions,” the statement said.  

Under an interstate agreement with Russia signed in April 2009, South Ossetia delegated its state border protection functions to Russia until the republic establishes its own border guard service. South Ossetia’s border with Georgia is about 210 miles (350 kilometers) long.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry earlier claimed Russia’s border guards had installed barbed-wire fences along Georgia’s border with the disputed region of South Ossetia, and had even extended the border line into Georgian territory.

Russia said Georgia has obstructed border delimitation with South Ossetia, while defending the republic’s demand for the move after years of an economic blockade, provocations and power politics on the part of Tbilisi.

Georgia lost control over one-fifth of its territory after South Ossetia and Abkhazia broke away and were recognized by Moscow in the wake of a brief war with Russia in August 2008. Georgia has maintained its claim to sovereignty over both regions, which have been recognized by a handful of other states besides Russia.

In the statement, the ministry noted that a public report by an international commission of the European Union into the events of August 2008 had confirmed the bloody conflict was started by the Georgian leadership, a fact which cannot be further disputed.

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