MOSCOW, April 30 (UPI) -- Officials in South Ossetia Saturday defended this week's visit by Russia's foreign minister, which had irked the government in Georgia.
Georgia claims South Ossetia is part of its territory and chided Moscow after Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited South Ossetia and Abkhazia without clearing it with them.
The European Union condemned Lavrov's visit as a potential incitement to renewed fighting in the area.
South Ossetia responded that Russia had recognized its government and their ties included official visits by government officials, Russia's RIA Novosti news agency said Saturday. The statement also accused the EU and the west of egging Georgia on to renewed violence.