Russia Deploys S-300 Missile Systems in Abkhazia

Russia announced Wednesday that it has moved a sophisticated anti-aircraft missile system into the republic of Abkhazia, the independence of which Russia recognized in 2008, shortly after the Caucasian war.

The deployment of the S-300s drew immediate protest from Georgia. The Foreign Ministry called it an "extremely dangerous and provocative step that presents a threat not only to the Black Sea region but to European security as a whole."

The U.S. State Department, however, said the missile deployment was old news, The Associated Press reports.

The French Foreign Ministry has said the deployment of Russian S-300 air defense systems in the former Georgian republic of Abkhazia undermines stability in the region.

Russian Air Force head Col. Gen. Alexander Zelin said on Wednesday S-300 systems had been placed in Abkhazia to protect the airspace of Abkhazia and the other former Georgian republic of South Ossetia. He did not say how many S-300s had been deployed, RIA Novosti say.

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