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Georgia says 2008 war encouraged Russia to take Crimea

Published on Mar 12, 2014 12:26 AM

TBILISI (AFP) - The failure of the international community to punish Russia for its 2008 invasion of Georgia has let Moscow think it can get away with seizing Ukraine's Crimea region, Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili said Tuesday.

"The fact that the 2008 scenario used by Russia in Georgia - when a sovereign state's territories were seized with military force - is now being employed again in 2014 against another country proves that in the last six years both we and our partners have failed to stand up to Russia," Mr Margvelashvili told AFP in an interview.

Tensions between Tbilisi and its Soviet-era master Moscow over the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia exploded into a brutal five-day war that saw Russian troops sweep into Georgia.

In the wake of the conflict the Kremlin recognised both South Ossetia and a second separatist territory, Abkhazia, as independent countries and stationed thousands of troops there in what Tbilisi decries as a de facto occupation.

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