Georgia diplomat: No plans to join new EU sanctions against Russia

By Jared M. Feldschreiber  |  July 31, 2015 at 4:20 PM
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TBLISI, Georgia, July 31 (UPI) -- Zurab Abashidze, the Georgian prime minister's envoy to Russia, told reporters Thursday that his country has no plans to join new sanctions leveled at Russia by the European Union.

"There is no talk about joining other EU sanctions against the Russian Federation," Abashdize said, ArmenPress reported.

Federica Mogherini, the high representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy and vice president of the European Commission, announced this week that seven European states --including Georgia -- affirmed their decision to prolong sanctions against Crimea and Sevastopol until June 23, 2016, Interfax reported. Georgia opted to not join in the EU's decision to prolong economic sanctions against Russia till Jan. 31, 2016, however.

"Certainly, retaliatory steps may follow. We say once again that the principle of reciprocity is a fundamental one," Dmitry Peskov, Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman told reporters Thursday.

On July 16, the EU warned of increased tension on the Russia-Georgia border with reports indicating that the Kremlin had redrawn a section of Georgia's de facto border with Ossetia.

Mogherini said then that "steps perceived as provocative must be avoided. The EU reaffirms its full support of Georgia's territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders."

In August 2008, Georgia and Russia engaged in military conflict as Russian troops fought to separate the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia from Georgia proper.

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