Russian Federation warns of 'horrible conflict' if Georgia joins North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

Georgian soldiers detained by Russian peacekeepers on the Senaki military base in Georgia Aleksandr Chizhenok TASS

Georgian soldiers detained by Russian peacekeepers on the Senaki military base in Georgia Aleksandr Chizhenok TASS

Only Russia and a handful of countries recognise South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent. Russian Federation has strengthened its military presence in both regions and recognized them as independent states.

Georgia deployed troops to South Ossetia on the night of August 7-8, 2008, and tried to take control of the region.

The aggression against Georgia did not start in August 2008, but much earlier, in 1991-92, Margvelashvili said, when "Russia detached two regions from the Georgian central authorities by means of hybrid war".

Czaputowicz was in Tbilisi on a two-day visit, alongside fellow top diplomats - Lithuania's Linas Linkevicius and Latvia's Edgars Rinkevics - as well as Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Pavlo Rozenko. In March 2017, Visa Free Travel for short term stays entered into force for Georgian citizens.

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Medvedev pointed to Moscow's recognition of independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and the Russian military bases there, saying that any attempt to change the status quo could lead to "extremely grave consequences".

Prime minister stressed that there is a different government in Georgia now.

The Prime Minister called the immoral and criminal behavior of Mikheil Saakashvili that was the President of Georgia in those years the ground for the conflict.

The Russian military quickly routed the Georgian army during the war.

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Last month, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg reiterated support for Georgia's membership at a meeting in Brussels, but did not mention when that might happen.

But since 2008, when North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders promised Georgia it would one day join the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the Western dream of the small Caucasus country has been a source of anger for its northern neighbour Russian Federation.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has issued a stern warning to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation on the 10th anniversary of the Russia-Georgia war that Tbilisi's joining the alliance could lead to a "horrible" new conflict.

In the decade since the conflict, Moscow has failed to implement the ceasefire agreement brokered by the European Union and "has further reinforced its illegal military presence on the ground", it said.

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"We will respond appropriately to such aggressive steps, which pose a direct threat to Russia", Putin warned.

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