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Russian NATO envoy says Georgia continues militarization


MOSCOW, June 5 (RIA Novosti) - Georgia is continuing to militarize even though it clearly has not ruled out using force in regard to its former republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Russia's NATO envoy said on Friday.

"We have all the necessary information, including classified, about those who continue to deliver weapons to Georgia and at what volumes," Dmitry Rogozin said in an interview with Ekho Moskvy radio station. "This information is dispiriting."

Although he did not identify the countries involved he said that Russia making bilateral contact to tell them that Moscow knew of the weapons deliveries.

Russia recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states after last August's five-day war with Georgia, which attacked South Ossetia in an attempt to bring it back under central control. Most residents of both Abkhazia and South Ossetia have held Russian citizenship for several years.

The chief of the Russian General Staff, Gen. Nikolai Makarov, said on Friday that Georgia is now armed far better than it was when it attacked South Ossetia.

"The events in Georgia have seriously changed the situation in the south of our country and many aspects of the world politics. Today, the Georgian Armed Forces have far more military hardware and weapons than they had at the moment of the beginning of their aggression last August," Makarov said.

Under mutual assistance treaties signed last November, Russia pledged to help Abkhazia and South Ossetia protect their borders, and the signatories granted each other the right to set up military bases in their respective territories.

At the time, Makarov said the Russian military bases in each republic would be fully staffed with 3,700 personnel by the end of 2009.

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