Russia peacekeepers provoked by Georgians

Russia accused Georgia of staging provocations against its peacekeepers, on Friday, deployed in the separatist region of Abkhazia.

The peacekeepers' mission had complained Thursday that Georgian officials had detained two Russian peacekeepers' trucks and seized 10 cases of cigarettes.

Georgian officials say smuggling is widespread in Abkhazia and another Georgian separatist region, South Ossetia, both of which seek independence or union with Russia.

The Russian Foreign Ministry called for return of the cargo and an end to what it called Georgia's provocative actions, saying Tbilisi was creating "obstacles in the functioning of the (peacekeeping contingent), which is fulfilling the important task of preserving peace and security in the conflict region."

Abkhazia has run its own affairs since 1993, when separatists drove out Georgian government troops. Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has vowed to bring it and South Ossetia back under central control, reports the AP.

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