Russian Premier Says Georgia’s NATO Join May Trigger 'Terrible Conflict'

Russian troops enter a South Ossetian village in August 2008 during the lightning war with Georgia

Russian troops enter a South Ossetian village in August 2008 during the lightning war with Georgia

Georgia has been making efforts to restore territorial integrity of the country, said Georgia's ambassador to Turkey on the 10th anniversary of the Russia-Georgia war.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia said it greatly appreciates the worldwide community's support for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity and the peaceful settlement of the conflict.

Additional Russian forces entered the territory from the adjacent Russian region of North Ossetia to back up the separatists and Russian troops that already were in Georgia's South Ossetia.

But Moscow recognised as independent the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, where it has stationed a large military presence ever since.

On August 8, 2008, the Russian army swept into Georgia - bombing targets and occupying large swathes of territory - after Tbilisi launched a large-scale military operation against South Ossetian separatist forces who had been shelling Georgian villages in the region.

He also said that the 2008 August war "could have been avoided".

Margvelashvili was speaking at a meeting with the foreign ministers of Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia in Tbilisi.

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European Union foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini assured Georgia on Tuesday (12 June) that ten years after Russia's occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, the European Union has not given up seeking a "true solution" to the conflict.

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the conflict between Russian Federation and Georgia.

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

The guests will also visit the conflict line and meet with Georgian president, PM and speaker of parliament. The results of the referendum for joining North Atlantic Treaty Organisation supported 77% of Georgian voters. In mid-July this year NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg again confirmed the bloc's intention to one day accept Georgia in its ranks, again without mentioning any dates.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday that any future North Atlantic Treaty Organisation decision to admit Georgia to its ranks could trigger "a awful conflict" and he questioned why the alliance was even considering such a move.

Georgian soldiers observe terrain near Gori, Georgia northwest of capital Tbilisi in a file image from 2008.

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

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