Page last updated at 13:32 GMT, Thursday, 17 April 2008 14:32 UK

Georgia demands Russia reversal

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili
Mr Saakashvili has praised Nato's response to Russia

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has called on Russia to revoke its decision to strengthen links with his country's two breakaway regions.

Russia said on Wednesday it would intensify co-operation with Abkhazia and South Ossetia, a step described by Georgia as "de facto annexation".

"We demand Russia revise all decisions which violate Georgia's sovereignty," Mr Saakashvili told a cabinet meeting.

He also called for serious diplomatic actions from his country's partners.

Both Nato and the EU have already criticised Russia's decision to upgrade its ties with the two provinces.

Nato Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said on Wednesday it had undermined Georgian sovereignty and he called on Moscow to reverse the measures.


Mr Saakashvili said the Nato leader's comments had been "very important" and he called for a special session of the UN Security Council to discuss the situation.

Earlier this month, Nato decided not to grant Georgia's request to join its Membership Action Plan but promised it would eventually become a member of the alliance.

Russia emphasised on Wednesday that it was not seeking to inflame the situation.

Rather, it said, it was trying to protect the rights and legal interests of Russian citizens who make up the majority of the population in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

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