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    CSTO condemns Georgia's actions in S.Ossetia, backs Russia

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    Leaders of a post-Soviet regional security bloc have censured Georgia over its actions in South Ossetia and backed Moscow, the Russian president said Friday.

    MOSCOW, September 5 (RIA Novosti) - Leaders of a post-Soviet regional security bloc have censured Georgia over its actions in South Ossetia and backed Moscow, the Russian president said Friday.

    "Our partners in the [Collective Security Treaty] Organization have made an unequivocally negative assessment of Georgia's actions, Georgia's aggression in South Ossetia, and supported Russia's active role, highlighting the need to ensure lasting security in South Ossetia and Abkhazia," Dmitry Medvedev said.

    He said that the CSTO member states "are deeply concerned by Georgia's attempt to resolve the conflict in South Ossetia through the use of force," leading to "numerous casualties among noncombatants and peacekeepers."

    The president said that with regard to the recognition of Abkhazia's and South Ossetia's independence, the CSTO countries will act on the basis of international law, but will be guided by national interests.

    Russia recognized the two separatist Georgian republics on August 26, but so far only Nicaragua has followed its lead.

    The CSTO is a security grouping comprising Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

    The next CSTO summit will take place in Moscow in the second quarter of 2009, the CSTO general secretary said.

    On Friday, the CSTO rotating presidency went from Kyrgyzstan to Armenia.

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