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2 Jun, 2008 15:19

Georgia bombards Russia – with protest notes

Georgia's Foreign Ministry has sent a protest note to Russia's envoy in Tbilisi over the arrival in Abkhazia of troops from the Russian Corps of Engineers. It’s the Georgian government’s 38th protest note to Russia this year and its 59th in all.

About 300 railway troops were brought in to repair a stretch of track at the request of the breakaway province's government. Abkhazia’s leaders say the project is purely economic, while Moscow insists the troops are unarmed.  Georgia, however, has described the deployment as an ‘act of aggression’.

The railway, like much of Abkhazia's infrastructure, was destroyed during the war with Georgia in the early 1990s.

The deployment of the railway troops is the latest in a series of recent events that has led Russia and Georgia to accuse each other of provoking trouble.

Abkhazia unilaterally declared independence from Georgia in 1992, although it has not been recognised internationally.