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Georgia accuses Russian Federation of military buildup as Moscow warns of 'terrible conflict'

09 August 2018

Ten years ago at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Bucharest the heads of state of the Alliance promised that Ukraine and Georgia will eventually become North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members.

Additional Russian forces entered the territory from the adjacent Russian region of North Ossetia to back up the separatists and Russian troops that already were in Georgia's South Ossetia.

A Georgian national flag flying at half mast in Tbilisi in honour of those killed during the conflict between Georgia and Russian Federation in August 2008.

But Moscow recognised as independent the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, where it has stationed a large military presence ever since.

A roundtable meeting on Russia-Georgia war is also scheduled to be held in Tbilisi on Tuesday with attendance of the same ministers.

The offer by the European Commission to let the College meet on an annual basis with Georgia's leadership is unique when comparing it to relations between the EU and other third countries, writes Steven Blockmans.

Foreign ministers from Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland, and Ukrainian deputy prime minister paid a visit to Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia on the 10th anniversary of the war.

Eastern European countries, which were formerly in the Soviet Union's sphere of influence, have in recent years frequently campaigned in favour of the two countries' accession. "We do not understand why it is necessary", Medvedev said. However, countries with ongoing territorial conflicts can not join the Alliance, according to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation rules. Poland fully supports these policies, the FM stated, as well as Tbilisi's cooperation with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, and is willing to offer further help in the reform of the Georgian defence sector.

Under NATO rules, countries with territorial conflicts can not join NATO.

Russian president Vladimir Putin has said on many occasions that Russia regards NATO's expansion into Georgia and Ukraine with "the utmost disapproval".

The joint trip to Tbilisi followed in the footsteps of the late Polish President Lech Kaczyński, who in August 2008 organised a visit in support of Georgia.

Georgia accuses Russian Federation of military buildup as Moscow warns of 'terrible conflict'