Russia, Georgia spar over Black Sea drills

April 1, 2013 at 9:14 AM
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MOSCOW, April 1 (UPI) -- Georgian claims that Russia's snap military drills in the Black Sea were destabilizing reflects its own regional aggressions, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The Georgian government last week said Russian military action in the Black Sea was "at odds with the interests of stability."

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops and military assets to the Black Sea. State-run news agency RIA Novosti said the drills were meant to ensure regional stability ahead of next year's Winter Olympics in Sochi, on Russia's Black Sea coast.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said Georgia's reaction was a "public inflation of a Russian threat to cover its own confrontational policy," RIA Novosti reports.

Georgia and Russian went to war in 2008 over the separatist republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Putin's unannounced drills followed a decision from Georgia last week to refuse a draft non-aggression document regarding the republics.

More than 30 warships, 250 combat vehicles and up to 7,000 troops participated in the exercise last week.

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