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  Thursday, August 22, 2019
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Russian presidential aide denied rumors Tuesday that Russia was allegedly planning to overthrow the Georgian leadership
A Russian presidential aide denied rumors Tuesday that Russia was allegedly planning to overthrow the Georgian leadership. Relations between the former Soviet states have been strained in recent months over the presence of Russian peacekeepers in conflict zones involving two self-proclaimed republics in Georgia and other issues, including a Russian ban on the import of Georgian mineral water and wine. "I, of course, know of no Russian plans to overthrow the Georgian leadership," Sergei Prikhodko said. "People who make such claims have enormous self-conceit. We have many objectives of our own in foreign and domestic policy." He said Russia was only dissatisfied with the discrepancy between the Georgian leadership's actions and its words. Prikhodko highlighted the cultural and historical traditions linking the two countries, and said Russia "would like to see Georgia as a really friendly state, treating Russia as its neighbor." He said instead of resolving urgent domestic problems, "this small but very proud state" uses all its power to expose external enemies and create difficulties in bilateral relations, including the peacekeeper issue. Prikhodko said that was neither in Russia's nor in Georgia's interest. "We should feel Georgia's genuine interest in good-neighborly relations, not just its lip service," he said.
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