Russia blasts Georgia's resolution on peacekeepers pullout

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Russia's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday the Georgian parliament's resolution on withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers from its conflict zones was an irresponsible action.
MOSCOW, July 18 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday the Georgian parliament's resolution on withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers from its conflict zones was an irresponsible action.

The Georgian parliament passed a resolution earlier on Tuesday advising the government to suspend peacekeeping operations in the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and take urgent measures to introduce international peacekeepers.

"Tbilisi's irresponsible actions may cause irretrievable damage to the peaceful conflict resolution," the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry also said Russia "would take all necessary measures to ensure the implementation of the existing international agreements, prevent destabilization of the situation in the region and protect rights and interests of Russian nationals living there."

"Russia considers the resolution as a provocative step aimed to escalate tensions, destruction of current negotiating formats and elimination of legal basis for peaceful settlement of the Georgian-Abkhazian and Georgian-South Ossetian conflicts," the ministry said.

The ministry said that Russia's position remained unchanged and the withdrawal of peacekeepers was fraught with a new crisis and humanitarian catastrophe.

"The resolution was lying that Russian peacekeepers in Abkhazia and South Ossetia were the main obstacle in the way of the peaceful settlement of the conflicts," the ministry's statement said.

Russia assisted in concluding ceasefire agreements between Georgia and its separatist republics in the early 1990s and peacekeepers have since helped maintain ceasefire in the conflict zones.

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