Russia warns Georgia against moves provoking conflict in S. Ossetia

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Russia's first deputy foreign minister warned against moves that could intensify the conflict in Georgia's breakaway republic of South Ossetia at a meeting with the Georgian ambassador to Russia Thursday.

MOSCOW, July 13 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's first deputy foreign minister warned against moves that could intensify the conflict in Georgia's breakaway republic of South Ossetia at a meeting with the Georgian ambassador to Russia Thursday.

The ministry said that at the meeting with Irakli Chubinishvili, Andrei Denisov highlighted "the need to refrain from steps and actions that could provoke an escalation of the conflict in the region."

Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said Wednesday that it had received a warning that Georgia was planning a provocation in South Ossetia, timed to coincide with this weekend's Group of Eight summit in St. Petersburg.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday he hoped the reports were unsubstantiated, while Georgian Security Council head Konstantin Kemularia called the accusations groundless.

Russia's defense minister, Sergei Ivanov said Thursday that Moscow would try to ensure that its peacekeepers in South Ossetia were not threatened.

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