( RIA Novosti ) - Russia's General Staff wants Georgia's leadership to prevent provocations in the conflict zone with Georgia's breakaway Abkhazia, a senior army official said on Friday.
"The number of provocations in the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict zone has increased - this is an objective fact... We hope that Georgia's leadership will take real, effective measures to prevent actions of forces aimed at frustrating the CIS peacekeeping mission," First Deputy Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Alexander Burutin said.
Burutin also said there is no need to take additional measures to defend Russian peacekeepers in the conflict zone, where a dispute broke out between peacekeepers and Georgian police earlier this week.
The Russian peacekeepers detained five Georgian police officers on Tuesday in the village of Ganmukhuri, saying the Georgians had threatened to open fire on them. Georgia said Russian peacekeepers attacked the policemen and beat them up. The policemen were released after the Georgian president arrived in the area to intervene.
"As yet, [additional steps] are not necessary. But, as is known, Russia has repeatedly said it will take all measures to safeguard the lives and activities of its peacekeepers and citizens nationals in conflict zones," he told journalists.
Commenting on Georgia's demand to dismiss the current peacekeeping forces commander, Sergei Chaban, from his post, Burutin said his powers were established by the Council of CIS Heads of State. Such issues should be decided by the CIS councils of defense and foreign ministers, he said.
Georgia has repeatedly voiced its goal of regaining control over Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which declared independence in the early 1990s. It has also accused the CIS peacekeeping force, mainly represented by Russians, of backing separatists.