Russia: Georgia must sign no-violence pact

Aug. 6, 2009 at 8:54 AM

MOSCOW, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- Georgia must sign a non-violence treaty with its former republics if it expects to gain the trust of is neighbors, Russia's Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

On the anniversary of last year's five-day, Georgia-Russia war, ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said Georgian officials apparently "have no intention of abandoning their plans to restore Georgia's territorial integrity by force," the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported.

"We therefore insist that they take on a legal obligation on the non-use of force. Georgia must take on this obligation unconditionally, not with respect to Russia, but to its neighboring republics -- South Ossetia and

Abkhazia," Nesterenko said. "Only in this way can Tbilisi restore even a minimal level of trust among its neighbors and the international community."

Such an agreement also must provide a guarantee of security for the people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Nesterenko said.

The spokesman also pledged Russia's economic support for the two republics, which it recognizes as independent states, RIA Novosti reported.

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