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Russian Envoy: Peacekeepers’ Pullout May Spark Tensions in South Ossetia
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 23 Jan.'06 / 15:01

Russian Ambassador to Georgia Vladimir Chkhikvishvili warned on Monday that the situation might deteriorate in breakaway South Ossetia if the Russian peacekeepers leave the conflict zone.

According to a Parliamentary resolution adopted on October 11, 2005, the government should report by February 10, 2006 about the peace process in the South Ossetian conflict zone. If the Parliament decides that no progress has been made, the lawmakers will demand that the peacekeepers begin withdrawing, starting from February 15.

“Let’s wait for the Parliament’s decision... I do not want to make comments in advance. But I think that the situation will deteriorate [in South Ossetia] if the peacekeepers are pulled out,” Chkhikvishvili said at a news conference.

“The decision should be made by taking into account not only internal political factors but others [factors] as well,” Chkhikvishvili added.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov expressed hope on January 17 that “common sense will prevail” in Georgia while deciding whether to demand the withdrawal of the Russian peacekeepers from South Ossetia or not.

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