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    IVANOV: USE OF FORCE FOR SETTLING ADZHARIA PROBLEM CAN BE FRAUGHT WITH GRAVE CONSEQUENCES FOR GEORGIA

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    MOSCOW, March 17, 2004. (RIA Novosti) -- Use of force for resolving the situation in Adzharia (Georgia's autonomy) can be fraught with rave consequences for Georgia. This cannot be allowed, Igor Ivanov, secretary of the Russian Security Council, said at the meeting in Moscow with Vano Merabishvili, secretary of the National Security Council of Georgia.

    The press service of the Russian Security Council says that in the course of the meeting Igor Ivanov noted that "Russia is for the political settlement of differences between Tbilisi and Batumi and, for its part, is ready to provide assistance in arranging a direct dialogue and elaborating mutually acceptable decisions within the framework of the territorial integrity of Georgia." Mr. Ivanov and Mr. Merabishvili have considered concrete steps towards the development of Russo-Georgian relations in line with the agreements reached by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili during the recent talks in Moscow, the press service said.

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