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Putin urges Georgia to directly talk with breakaway republics
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2010-07-06 15:23
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Monday called on Georgia to initiate direct talks with its two breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

"One shouldn't expect solutions to come from without," said Putin commenting on a statement from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saying that Washington would press Moscow to withdraw its forces from these two regions.

"One should have dialogue without citing third parties," said the Russian head of government as quoted by news agencies.

Clinton who concluded her visit to Georgia on Monday, said in Tbilisi that "the United States is steadfast in its commitment to Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity."

"We continue to call for Russia to abide by the August 2008 cease-fire commitment ... including by ending the occupation and withdrawing Russian troops from South Ossetia and Abkhazia to their pre-conflict positions," she added.

Long-standing tensions between Russia and the former Soviet republic of Georgia turned violent during a five-day war in August 2008, when Tbilisi attacked South Ossetia, where most residents are Russian passport holders, in an attempt to bring it back under central control.

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