Georgia denies Russian accusation on troop redeployments

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A deputy Georgian foreign minister denied on Thursday Russia's accusations that Georgia is not meeting its commitments on troop withdrawal following the conflict over South Ossetia.
TBILISI, October 23 (RIA Novosti) - A deputy Georgian foreign minister denied on Thursday Russia's accusations that Georgia is not meeting its commitments on troop withdrawal following the conflict over South Ossetia.

"All units are at constant deployment sites both in Senaki and Gori," Grigol Vashadze told journalists.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier Thursday that Georgia has not lived up to its commitment to return troops to their bases after the armed conflict over South Ossetia in August.

"Georgia has not fulfilled its obligations to redeploy troops to their permanent positions of deployment," he said.

Lavrov said Georgia occasionally sent commandos or other military units to areas adjacent to South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another breakaway Georgian republic.

"We are worried that European Union monitors have so far been paying little attention to such matters," he said.

Russia's top diplomat also dismissed claims by the Georgian Foreign Ministry that the number of Russian troops stationed in South Ossetia had increased from 2,000 to 7,000.

He said Russia had deployed around 3,700 troops in both South Ossetia and Abkhazia under friendship and cooperation agreements with the two republics.

Russia recognized the two breakaway republics as independent states on August 26, two weeks after a brief war with Georgia that began when Georgian forces attacked South Ossetia in a bid to bring it back under central control. So far, only Nicaragua has followed suit.

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