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  Tuesday, November 12, 2019
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Georgia denies redeployment of its troops toward the border with Abkhazia,
Georgia denies redeployment of its troops toward the border with Abkhazia, a spokesman for the Georgian Interior Ministry said Sunday.

"Georgia is not conducting any redeployment of troops toward the border with Abkhazia," Shota Utiashvili told the Moscow-based Ekho Moskvy radio.

Media have carried reports that Tbilisi is secretly grouping its troops near Abkhazia.

Abkhazian Foreign Minister Sergei Shamba, however, denied Utiashvili's statements, saying Abkhazian observers are registering Georgian troop redeployment.

"This is a fact, this has been confirmed, and the observers see and know this," Shamba told Ekho Moskvy.

Russia reported a complete pullout from undisputed Georgian territory ahead of an agreed October 10 deadline. Russian troops have been replaced by an EU monitoring mission tasked with ensuring security along the border with Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Both Abkhazia and South Ossetia have refused to allow EU observers on their territory.

Russia recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states on August 26 after a five-day war with Georgia, which launched an attack on South Ossetia to try and regain control of the region.

The two Georgian breakaway republics have had de facto independence since they broke away from Georgia in bloody post-Soviet conflicts in the early 1990s.


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