Russia worried about possible Georgian offensive vs. Abkhazia

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Russia is concerned that Georgia might be planning to make the Kodori Gorge a "beachhead" for an offensive against Abkhazia to bring the breakaway region under its control, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Friday.
MOSCOW, July 28 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is concerned that Georgia might be planning to make the Kodori Gorge a "beachhead" for an offensive against Abkhazia to bring the breakaway region under its control, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Friday.

"[Georgia's] sending a massive contingent to the region has fueled fears that the Georgian government plans to set up a beachhead [in the gorge] for a military operation to resolve the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict," Mikhail Kamynin said.

Georgian troops were moved to the gorge to disarm a rebellious militia unit led by Emzar Kvitsiani. Georgia said it was a police operation, but later admitted army units were also involved.

The Kodori Gorge in the north of the former Soviet republic is the Georgian-controlled territory and the de facto border with Abkhazia.

Georgian Defense Minister Irakly Okruashvili said Thursday Georgian security forces would stay in the gorge for the time being, to complete the "mopping-up of criminals from the area."

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