Tbilisi’s “inability to negotiate” problematic issues with Moscow is caused by “plans to pull Georgia into NATO,” Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, said on May 3.
He was speaking with reporters upon arrival from London where he met with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Lavrov said he had had “active discussions” with the U.S. Secretary of State over situation in Georgia.
Lavrov pointed out that he hoped Tbilisi and “those capitals, which are pulling Georgia in the North Atlantic alliance” would make appropriate conclusions and would not create “artificial problems in this very sensitive region.”
He also said that he had explained to the U.S. Secretary of State that Russia increased level of its peacekeepers in the Abkhaz conflict zone within the limits set by the agreements. “I have talked about it with the U.S. Secretary of State and I hope that our actions are being understood correctly,” Lavrov said.
Rice said on May 1 that she did not see the necessity for bringing additional Russian peacekeeping troops to breakaway Abkhazia.
A press release issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry on May 3 says that during the discussion of situation in Georgia “attention of Condoleezza Rice was drawn to provocative actions of the Georgian authorities regarding the situation around Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as well as to the facts proving possible plans of Tbilisi to use force against Sokhumi and Tskhinvali.”