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Georgia has blocked all roads to the capital of the self-proclaimed republic of South Ossetia
Georgia has blocked all roads to the capital of the self-proclaimed republic of South Ossetia, senior officers said Monday. "We had to block the roads after the Russian and Ossetian peacekeepers failed to fulfill their promise to ensure an unimpeded rotation [of troops] and closed the roads leading from Tskhinvali," the commanders said. The command of Georgia's peacekeeping battalion stationed in the zone of the conflict between the South Caucasus republic and the breakaway region said the roads would remain blocked until the Russian and Ossetian peacekeepers let 100 Georgian troops into the village of Achabeti, the Georgian troops' headquarters, where they were to arrive Sunday morning. Georgia's Defense Ministry said the arrival of troops had been coordinated with the Russian and South Ossetian troops in advance. The situation in the conflict zone deteriorated following the parliament of Georgia, which seeks to bring South Ossetia and another rebellious republic, Abkhazia, back under its control, adopted a resolution last week, demanding the expulsion of the Russian troops from the region and the deployment of an international contingent there. Russia argued its withdrawal from the region would not be approved by South Ossetia, many of whose residents hold Russian passports and where anti-Georgian sentiments are still strong following bloody conflicts in the 1990s, and might lead to a new civil war. Russian troops are stationed in the region as part of the trilateral Joint Collective Peacekeeping Forces, which also involve Georgian and Ossetian soldiers. They were deployed in South Ossetia in the early 1990s to ensure the implementation of ceasefire agreements after the conflict, but Georgia's West-leaning authorities have sought their expulsion since coming to power in 2004
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