Russia warns Georgia of tough response to military provocations

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Moscow, Apr 29 (UNI) Russia today warned the former Soviet republic of Georgia that it will give an ''adequate and tough response'' to its attempts to use force in the Georgian breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

''Any attempts by Georgia to use force in the settlement of the conflicts, as well as measures of violence against Russian peacekeepers and citizens in the territory of Abkhazia and South Ossetia will meet with adequate and tough response,'' Russian Defence Ministry said in a statement, referring to the ''concentration of Georgian armed forces on the borders with Abkhazia and South Ossetia.'' ''Georgian law-enforcers keep watching the activity of the collective peacekeeping forces (KSPM) in the southern security zone (Georgia's Zugdidi district),'' the Ministry said, adding, ''Representatives of Georgian secret services, in violation of the effective agreements, keep monitoring the transport vehicles of Russian peacekeepers that enter the southern security zone from Abkhazia, and taking footage of them.'' ''Furthermore, repeated attempts by Georgian television journalists have been registered to penetrate into KSPM posts,'' the statement said.

''Due to the heightening of tensions in the zone of the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict, the Russian peacekeepers' command put up 15 additional observation posts,'' it pointed out.

''Russian peacekeeping contingents in the zones of the Georigan-Abkhazian and Georgian-Ossetian conflicts will continue to fulfill their tasks on the basis of their international commitments,'' it stressed.

Earlier this month, outgoing Russian President Vladimir Putin called for closer ties with the two breakaway republics.

Mr Putin's statement provoked an angry response from Georgia, which accused Russia of attempting to annex the two republics.

UNI XC SKB ND1822

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