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    SAAKASHVILI: GEORGIA WILL NEVER PUT UP WITH LOSS OF CONTROL OVER ABKHAZIA AND SOUTH OSSETIA

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    MOSCOW, February 10, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondents Anna Bobina and Yelena Ivanova). Georgia will never put up with the loss of control over Abkhazia and a part of South Ossetia (self-proclaimed republics in Georgia), the Georgian President told professors and students of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO).

    According to him, the Georgian authorities control about 60 percent of South Ossetian territory.

    "The conflicts arose because Russia was very weak and reacted to external irritants in this way," Saakashvili said speaking about the situation in the early 1990s when the Georgian-Abkhaz and Georgian-South Ossetian conflicts happened.

    "Today Russia is growing stronger, and it can have a wider view of the problems and is not afraid of competition. We want to be friends of strong Russia," the Georgian President said.

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