April 30, 2011 EU support of Georgian claims may trigger new conflict - South Ossetia Mowcow: Comments by EU's top diplomat Catherine Ashton which has backed Georgia's groundless territorial claims to South Ossetia may incite Georgia into new acts of aggression, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Ossetia said on Saturday. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was visiting the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia earlier this week without the permission of Georgian authorities. The European Union on Thursday condemned the visit. "The European Union notes with concern that Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov, has paid a visit to the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia without prior consent of the Georgian authorities," Ashton said. "Signs of support from the West, like Mrs. Ashton's ones, which are addressed to the 'fighters for Georgia's territorial integrity' in fact incite them to a new conflict," the South Ossetian comment said. "The time is ripe for the West to draw lessons from the realities which arose more than twenty years ago, and stop deceiving themselves," the document said. "Only owing to Russia the people of South Ossetia have preserved and are now building and developing their country. Russia recognized the Republic of South Ossetia and is now developing relations with it on an internationally accepted base. The development of bilateral ties stipulates close cooperation, including reciprocal official and working visits," Ossetia's ministry said. Moscow recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia after a five-day war in 2008 and has since been the guarantor of their security, deploying thousands of troops and border guards to the tiny republics.
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