France calls for restraint in Georgia-Russia standoff
The French government on Wednesday called for restraint on all parties in the standoff between Georgia and Russia over the breakaway region of Abkhazia, dpa reported.
"Like the European Union, France continues to call on all parties to avoid any initiative that could lead to an escalation," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Pascale Andreani said in an electronic press conference.
She said French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner spoke frequently with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, about the crisis.
These discussions, she said, "have allowed us to evoke our worry regarding the situation in Georgia and the necessity to reduce tensions."
Her comments came after Georgian Minister for Reintegration Temur Iakobachvili said earlier Wednesday that Kouchner had prevented a war in Abkhazia through his discussions with Lavrov.
Andreani neither confirmed nor denied the report. She said France supported "Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity."