April 25, 2011 / 9:14 AM / 8 years ago

Russia says ready to protect Georgian rebel region

MOSCOW, April 25 (Reuters) - Russia said on Monday it was ready to do anything to protect the Georgian breakaway region of South Ossetia from Tbilisi’s “military provocations” after Russia and Georgia waged a war over the enclave three years ago.

“We don’t exclude military provocations from Georgia, because you can expect anything from the current regime in Tbilisi,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying on a trip to South Ossetia.

“Therefore we will do everything to hopefully guarantee the security of South Ossetian citizens and be ready in case someone again wants to commit the same crime of August 2008,” he said.

Russia fought a brief war with Georgia in 2008 after Tbilisi tried to regain control of breakaway South Ossetia with a military assault. Moscow later recognised the rebel region as an independent country. (Reporting by Thomas Grove, editing by Amie Ferris-Rotman)

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