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Georgia says Russia's actions in Abkhazia no reason for war

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Georgian Vice-Premier Georgy Baramidze said in an interview with RIA Novosti on Friday that Russia's "bare-faced aggression" in Abkhazia was no reason for Tbilisi to start a war.
ROME, June 20 (RIA Novosti) - Georgian Vice-Premier Georgy Baramidze said in an interview with RIA Novosti on Friday that Russia's "bare-faced aggression" in Abkhazia was no reason for Tbilisi to start a war.

Baramidze, who is also Georgia's State Minister for Euro-Atlantic Integration, arrived in the Italian capital earlier Friday to participate in an international security conference.

"At the moment, Russia is exercising bare-faced aggression against Georgia. It is a fact," he said adding that "although, any state would probably react differently" it is not enough to "start a war against Russia."

"Unfortunately, at the moment we can state that Russia is clearly supporting separatists in every possible way: politically, economically, financially, and in a military sense," he said.

He also said Russia has deployed on Georgian territory its forces which "do not resemble any peacekeeping operation," hinting at Russia's unarmed railroad troops, which are currently carrying out repairs on Abkhazia's rail infrastructure.

He went on to say that if Georgia joins NATO, the relations between the two former Soviet states would improve as they would cooperate like "two ordinary neighbors."

"Georgia is going to join NATO, and the move is not targeted against Russia. NATO is an umbrella guarding all democratic states," he said.

Relations between Russia and Georgia have been strained in recent months ever since Russia stepped up support for Abkhazia and South Ossetia, another breakaway Georgian republic, and sent more troops into the region. Tbilisi has accused the Kremlin of plans to annex the territories. Georgia's bid to join NATO has also been a cause of tension.

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