Russian parliament speaker condemns Georgia's hostility

Other News Materials 2 October 2006 15:05 (UTC +04:00)

(RIA Novosti) - The speaker of the Russian parliament's lower house said Monday that Georgia's hostile moves toward Russia indicated a policy of state terrorism.

Russia has put its military bases on high alert in the South Caucasus country and withdrawn most of its diplomats since Georgian authorities arrested Russian officers they accused of spying last week, reports Trend.

"Hostile moves toward Russia from [President Mikheil] Saakashvili's regime in effect indicate a shift to a policy of state terrorism," Boris Gryzlov said.

Gryzlov added that the U.S. Senate's decision last week on Georgia's accession to NATO was not only strategic but a financial as well, as $10 million has been allocated to Georgia to complete the process as soon as possible.

"Georgia is now deciding the issue," Gryzlov said.

NATO has in the past several years expanded to include many of Russia's former Communist-bloc allies in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia in the Baltic Region.

More recently, a NATO ministerial meeting on the sidelines of the 61st General Assembly meeting in New York in September decided to step up negotiations with Georgia with the aim of admitting the Caucasus state next year.

Russia has been anxious about the encroachment of NATO bases nearer to its borders. It has, nevertheless, continued, along with other post-Soviet states, to cooperate with the alliance under the Partnership for Peace program by participating in joint exercises and other events.

The latest diplomatic clash between Russia and Georgia has further aggravated relations between the two countries, which have been volatile in recent years partly as a result of Russia's involvement in Georgia's breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, where Russian peacekeeping forces have been stationed since bloody conflicts in the early 1990s.