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Georgia Recalls Ambassador from Moscow
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 10 Jul.'08 / 23:30

Georgia recalls its ambassador from Moscow "for consultations", in response to Russia's “extraordinary admission” of intrusion into Georgia's airspace, Georgian Foreign Minister Eka Tkeshelashvili said late on July 10.

"We are outraged by Russia's aggressive policies and are starting an active phase of diplomatic activities. In addition, we are making a serious diplomatic step and are recalling our Ambassador from Moscow for consultations", Tkeshelashvili said.

Russian Foreign Ministry admitted on July 10 that country's aircraft flew a sortie over Georgia's breakaway South Ossetia to “cool some hot heads in Tbilisi,” after four Georgian servicemen were detained by the South Ossetian militia on July 8.

Russia's actions, the Georgian Foreign Minister said “are unprecedented. For the first time Russia is cynically expressing aggression in front of international community.”

And President Saakashvili said in an interview with Reuters on July 10: “I don't recall anything as wild as this from that point of view since the Second World War.”

“It looks like there are people in Moscow for whom words are no longer words, or for whom international law doesn't mean anything any more, and who just think they can bomb neighboring countries at will, whenever they want to, or for God knows what reason,” he added. “Obviously we cannot fight with Russia. I mean we have to use all international diplomatic and political tools.” 

Foreign Minister Tkeshelashvili said that the Georgian government was “astounded by the bellicose nature of Russia’s action and the flip justifications.”
 
“Russia yesterday made a direct challenge to Europe and the entire international community - a challenge that demands a unified response,” she said.

Tkeshelashvili also pointed out that Tbilisi would immediately begin consultations with the UN, EU, NATO, OSCE, and its allies on the matter.

“We will convey our concerns to our partners and seek to develop a common strategy that can ensure regional stability and European security,” she said.

Georgia will seek UN Security Council censure of Russia for the airspace violations, and will ask NATO, the EU, the OSCE, and others to condemn the act, the Georgian government said.

President Saakashvili, however, showed some disappointment with the international response.

“Not only does Russia keeps surprising, but sometimes the inability of some parts of the international community to adequately react [is surprising],” he told Reuters.

Foreign Minister Tkeshelashvili reiterated on July 10 that Tbilisi’s priority was to work with the international community to devise new peacekeeping and negotiating formats for resolving the secessionist conflicts.

“Once again, Russia has proven, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that it has become a party to the conflicts in the South Caucasus,” Tkeshelashvili said. “Its role as a peacekeeper and facilitator in the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is no longer tenable - this has become a dangerous farce.”

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