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    Georgian servicemen stand at the opening of a joint NATO-Georgia training center outside Tbilisi, Georgia, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015

    Russia, Abkhazia, S Ossetia Concerned About Georgia-NATO Cooperation

    © AP Photo/ Georgy Abdaladze
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    Russia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia are concerned about the increasing NATO expansion.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia are concerned about the increasing military cooperation between Georgia and NATO and believe that Georgian-NATO military exercises undermine multilateral efforts to stabilize the situation in the South Caucasus, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

    Georgian soldiers stand in formation during the inauguration ceremony of the NATO-Georgian Joint Training and Evaluation Center at the Krtsanisi military training base, outside Tbilisi, on August 27, 2015
    © AP Photo/ VANO SHLAMOV
    Representatives of Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia met on March 22-23 within the framework of the Geneva discussions, mediated by Russia, the United States, the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the European Union.

    "Given the continuous claims by Tbilisi to the territory of the two independent republics, strengthening the offensive capabilities of the Georgian army and the growing number of joint Georgian-NATO military exercises raise reasonable concerns of Sukhumi and Tskhinvali, undermining the multilateral efforts to stabilize the situation in the South Caucasus," the statement reads.

    In 2008, Georgia launched a military offensive against the breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, ending in a five-day war with Russia. Both regions declared their independence from Georgia in the early 1990s and were recognized by Russia following the 2008 conflict.

    During a NATO summit in Wales on September 4-5, 2014, a package of measures was approved to advance Georgia's efforts in its preparations for NATO membership.

    Related:

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    Tags:
    summit, NATO expansion, military exercises, cooperation, NATO, Russia, South Ossetia, Abkhazia
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