Russia to shut its embassy in Georgia

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Moscow, Aug 30 (UNI) Russia has said it will be forced to shut its embassy in Tbilisi following Georgia's announcement that it was severing diplomatic ties with Moscow.

''When diplomatic relations are severed, embassies also shut,'' a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko told RIA Novosti news agency.

''Perhaps some kind of office or consular service will remain there,'' he said adding Moscow regretted Tbilisi's decision.

Georgia's Deputy Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze said on Friday that Georgia was cutting diplomatic ties with Russia following Moscow's recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states.

''The possible end of diplomatic relations with Georgia is not the choice of Moscow, and Tbilisi will have to bear the entire responsibility,'' Nesterenko was quoted by Itar-Tass news agency.

A source in Georgia's embassy in Moscow told RIA it would take about a week to close the diplomatic mission, adding that ''no instruction'' to leave Russia has been given as yet by the Georgian Foreign Ministry.

The source said that some legal issues were being considered to allow the consulate to continue its work, ''because it must protect the interests of its citizens, so that Russian nationals can come to Georgia.'' Georgia has already withdrawn from the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States).

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