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Russia calling on Georgia to cease border provocations and begin dialogue

Russia concerned over increased cases of illegal border crossings from Georgia

MOSCOW, July 15. /TASS/. Moscow is calling on Tbilisi to cease provocations on the border with Russia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia and to use the existing platforms for dialogue, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a commentary published on Wednesday.

"We are calling on the Georgian government to put an end to provocative actions and statements and to use the existing dialogue formats with Russia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, including the regional Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms, Geneva Discussions on Security and Stability in Transcaucasia and the informal negotiation channel between Grigory Karasin and Zurab Abashidze in order to resolve the existing issues in a mutually beneficial constructive manner. We expect the Georgian government to apply more efforts to raise public awareness in order to avoid new illegal border crossings," the commentary reads.

"We have noted with concern the increased incidents of illegal crossings of the border with Russia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia from the side of Georgia," the ministry stated, adding that those incidents point to the need for direct talks between Georgia, Sukhum and Tskhinval.

"We would like to note the provocative statements made by the State Department and the US Embassy in Tbilisi, in which the Americans are making excuses for their Georgian proteges, as they are prone to do, shifting all the blame on Moscow and Tskhinval. At the very least, this undermines Washington’s position as an unbiased participant of the Geneva discussions," Russian diplomats added.

The Russian Foreign Ministry reminded that on June 6, Russian border guards had detained three Georgian citizens who illegally crossed the border near the Abkhaz settlement of Alakumkhara. On June 13, an armed Georgian citizen was detained in Russia’s Dagestan 600 meters away from the border. On July 9, another Georgian citizen was detained in Dagestan. On July 11, a Georgian resident entered the territory of South Ossetia and opened fire on border guards, after which he was detained.