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The Georgian leadership expresses sharp discontent with the actions of State Duma Vice Speaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky
The Georgian leadership expresses sharp discontent with the actions of State Duma Vice Speaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who is heading for Abkhazia (self-proclaimed republic on Georgian territory) from Sochi (Russian resort) on board a launch. "The vessel Zhirinovsky is on board is accompanied by Russian military launches," said Georgy Ugulava, the deputy Georgian State Security Minister, at a special briefing. "In the Georgian territorial waters we warned the violators of the Georgian state border that they must stop but they did not react in any way," Mr. Ugulava said. In his words, the Georgian military do not intend to open fire at the launch. Mr. Ugulava called the developments "the biggest ever provocation that has taken place since the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict." Georgia will not yield to the provocation, but a very serious reaction will follow, Mr. Ugulava said. RIA Novosti was told in the press service of the North Caucasian regional border guard department of the FSB that some 120 passengers headed on Wednesday from Russia to Abkhazia at a pleasure boat Akatsia. 40 LDPR members headed by Vladimir Zhirinovsky. The day before, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili said that "should the launch with deputy Zhirinovsky appear in the Abkhazian water area, measures envisaged in such cases will be taken in his regard." The press release of the LDPR faction in the State Duma received by RIA Novosti on Wednesday says that the Georgian military threatened to open fire at the launch with Russian tourists among whom is Vladimir Zhirinovsky. The press service said that a Georgian military vessel approached the ship, "and every minute [people] on its board demand by means of a bullhorn that the ship return to Russian territorial waters." The LDPR leader called the activities of the Georgian military unacceptable. "Russian and Georgia are members of the Commonwealth of Independent States, and the actions of the Georgian authorities once again show the unfriendly attitude of the Georgian leadership to Russia," Mr. Zhirinovsky said. Pavel Velikanov, Mr. Zhirinovsky's press secretary, told RIA Novosti that Georgian patrol launches did not approach the pleasure boat of Zhirinovsky closer than two miles from it. "We are accompanied by one Abkhazian border launch which was produced during WWII," Mr. Velikanov said. "We keep moving forward." "We are going on holiday, why should we rattle the saber," the press secretary added.
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