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MOSCOW, August 6 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia does not rule out Georgia’s further provocations against Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Russian State Secretary and Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said on Monday in an exclusive interview with Itar-Tass.
“Regrettably, the recent developments prove that stability is extremely fragile, and the atmosphere is tense,” the Russian diplomat stressed. “The obtrusive moves the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) in Georgia is taking to get by right or wrong into Abkhazia and South Ossetia in violation of the Medvedev-Sarkozy agreements have caused a crisis in the functioning of the Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms (IPRM) at the Georgian-Abkhazia border.”
“It forced the Abkhazian side to declare the EUMM head, Polish General Andrzej Tyszkiewicz persona non grata,” Karasin noted. “At the same time, European observers are turning a blind eye on the terrorist and subversive activities coming from the Georgian territory against Abkhazia’s Gali district.” According to Karasin, these activities target primarily Abkhazian law enforcers. The latest such case occurred on July 11, when an attempt on the life of a deputy head of the Gali district military registration and enlistment office was committed. Apart from that, the Tbilisi authorities are training and arming reservists in the border areas.
“Tbilisi is making an active use of information subversion methods,” the Russian deputy foreign minister pointed out. “Thus, rumors about “a war in the autumn” are systematically disseminated among people living in South Ossetia and bordering regions in Georgia. It cannot but fan tensions and increase the risk of provocations. So, there are no reasons for placid tranquility.”
When asked whether the developments of August 2008 might occur again, Karasin said, “taking into account the unpredictable character of the incumbent Georgian leader, who is prone to military ventures, nothing can be excluded.”
“We know that Tbilisi is still refusing to sign legally binding agreement on the non-use of force with Sukhum and Tskhinval,” he stressed. “In the current situation, when a parliamentary campaign is beginning in Georgia, I think the temptation to try to solve internal political tasks by means of new provocations in the region will be next to irresistible.”
“Nonetheless, I can say it confidently that any such venture is doomed to fail,” Karasin said. “Abkhazia’s and South Ossetia’s security from any sort of aggressive moves is firmly guaranteed by our servicemen and border guards who are deployed in the republics under bilateral agreements.”