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NATO calls on Russia to reconsider recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia

NATO believes that the development of the state borders of South Ossetia and Abkhazia by Russia hampers the settlement of the conflict in Georgia, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a statement on Wednesday.

The NATO secretary general said "I note with concern the Russian Federation's continued activity in erecting fences and other obstacles along administrative boundary lines within Georgia" (this is what NATO calls the borders of these two states, as it does not recognize the sovereignty of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and continues to regard them as Georgian provinces).

"This is in contradiction with Russia's international commitments and does not contribute to a peaceful resolution of the conflict. It has a negative impact on the situation on the ground, and it affects the lives of those citizens of Georgia who live on either side of the administrative boundary lines. I call for removal of these barriers," Rasmussen said.

NATO's position is very clear. As stated at the Chigaco Summit, "NATO supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders. We call on Russia to reverse its recognition of the South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions of Georgia as independent states," he said.

In effect, the statement is a complete follow-up of the alliances' policy towards Georgia, Abkhaiza and South Ossetia. It is unlikely to lead to the slightest changes in the alliance's position on the situation in the region. Such statements have been regularly issued after Georgia's attack on South Ossetia in August 2008.

Georgia is not a NATO member. Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili stated in April 2013 that Tbilisi would "make concrete moves to receive the Membership Action Plan for NATO in 2014."

[Source: Itar Tass, Brussels, 02Oct13]

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The Question of South Ossetia
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