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Saakashvili Phoned Putin over Russia’s ‘Aggressive Moves’
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 21 Apr.'08 / 20:24

President Saakashvili said downing of a Georgian drone by Russia’s fighter jet, combined with Russia’s recent decision to establish legal links with Abkhazia and South Ossetia was “unprovoked aggression against the sovereign territory of Georgia.”

He said that he held a phone conversation with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on April 21. “I categorically demanded from him to immediately repeal that act [on establishing links with breakaway regions] and to stop attacks on Georgia,” Saakashvili said and added the conversation “was not easy.”

Saakashvili said that Georgia had incontrovertible evidence – video footage transmitted by the unmanned spy plane before it was shot down – proving that the drone was downed by Russia’s MIG-29 fighter jet. “This is unfriendly move,” he said.

He also said that Russia’s decision to establish official links with Abkhazia and South Ossetia amounted “to legalization of annexation of large part of Georgia’s territory.”

Saakashvili said that despite Russia’s provocative steps, Tbilisi’s only response would be “offering more peace initiatives.”

“Georgia has peace plan, unprecedented peace plan, which is supported unanimously by the international community,” he said. “Georgia does not need unrest and hostilities. But my compatriots we should tell the entire world that Georgia will never tolerate seizure of our territories.” He has also called for “unity and calmness.”

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