EU Scoffs at Russian Claims Against Georgia

Most Russian claims that Georgia is violating a cease-fire agreement in the breakaway region of South Ossetia appear to be inflated, the head of the EU monitoring mission there said Friday. 

Russia also needs to give more detailed information for European Union monitors to act, and so far Moscow has not even provided a telephone contact number, Hansjoerg Haber told reporters in Brussels. 

Moscow has complained that Georgian troops have failed to withdraw from areas near South Ossetia and Abkhazia, another separatist region, and have instigated shootings against Russian forces. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday accused the 225 EU cease-fire monitors of “taking a light-hearted view of the situation” following the two countries’ brief war in August and called it “a dangerous game with fire.” 

“In general, the observation is that such reports are overblown,” Haber said. “There may have been isolated shootings, but no major incidents have been registered.” 

… In the latest violence in Georgia, an explosion killed Gia Mebonia, the mayor of the small town of Mujhava near Abkhazia [and regional governor], while he was inspecting a house damaged by overnight shelling early Saturday, Georgia’s Interior Ministry said. A villager was also killed, and a local police officer was seriously injured, it said. 

via Moscow TimesEU Calls Russia’s Cease-Fire Claims Overblown

Meanwhile, Voice of America reports that Russia is doing more than pointing fingers at Georgian troops

The leader of Georgia’s pro-Russian breakaway Abkhazia region has ordered Abkhazian military forces to retaliate against what he calls all “provocations” from the Georgian side.

The warning Sunday from Abkhaz separatist leader Sergei Bagapsh is the latest volley in a war of words pitting Abkhazia and another pro-Russian separatist region, South Ossetia, against the Georgian government.

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