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    NATO Presence in Georgia Could Threaten Stability in Caucasus: Russia

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    The placement of military infrastructure in Georgia in the interests of NATO would pose a threat to stability in the Caucasus region, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

    Updated 11:50 p.m. Moscow Time

    MOSCOW, October 8 (RIA Novosti) - The placement of military infrastructure in Georgia in the interests of NATO would pose a threat to stability in the Caucasus region, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

    Russian Deputy Minister Grigory Karasin took part in a new round of the International Geneva Discussions on Security and Stability in the South Caucasus held in Geneva on October 7-8. The talks were also attended by delegations from Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Georgia and the United States.

    "The Russian side has expressed concern over rumors circulated by Georgian media about plans to place elements of NATO-linked infrastructure in Georgia," the Russian ministry said in a statement.

    "Such actions would threaten the existing stability in South Caucasus," the statement reads.

    "Delegations from Abkhazia and South Ossetia underlined that the decisions made during the recent NATO summit on Georgia significantly increased the need of coming to binding international agreements about non-use of force between Georgia and their states. As an effective step in this direction, Russia's draft on a joint statement made by all participants of the discussions on the non-use of force and security guarantees was discussed," the Russian Foreign Ministry noted.

    The Geneva negotiations have been held regularly since October 2008 in accordance with agreements made following the August 2008 war in Georgia with the mediation of the European Union, the UN and the OSCE. Russia, Georgia, the United Nations and representatives of South Ossetia and Abkhazia are parties to the talks.

    Following Russia's recognition of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Georgia severed diplomatic relations with Russia. In Georgia, the regions South Ossetia and Abkhazia have the status of the occupied territories. The new Georgian government formed in 2012 called the normalization of relations with Russia one of its key priorities.

    Topic:
    NATO Seeks Expansion to Eastern Europe (325)
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    NATO, military presence, Georgia
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