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Lavrov: Georgia’s NATO Membership May Undermine Conflict Resolution
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 10 Jul.'08 / 18:27

Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, said Georgia’s NATO integration process “may undermine the conflict resolution” process.

Speaking at a meeting with Abkhaz leader Sergey Bagapsh in Moscow on July 10, Lavrov also said Moscow was concerned about the U.S. stance on the matter.

“I’ve listened with deep regret to Condoleezza Rice saying that granting NATO Membership Action Plan to Georgia would resolve the Abkhaz and South Ossetian problems,” Lavrov said in remarks aired on Russian TV.

The U.S. secretary of state said on July 8, before her arrival in Tbilisi: “I think the NATO MAP would be a very good status from which Georgians could move to resolve their frozen conflicts.”

The Russian foreign minister also said during the meeting with Bagapsh that “the first step” towards de-escalation of tension should be the signing of a treaty on the non-use of force.

Meanwhile, Abkhaz leader Sergey Bagapsh said while asked if the armed conflict was possible: “We do not rule out anything, as Georgia has chosen the way of terrorism, and terrorism is the way, which inevitably leads to confrontation.”

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