Russian PM says NATO admission of Georgia could trigger 'terrible conflict'

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Medvedev also emphasized that in his opinion the 2008 conflict between Russia and Georgia that emerged after Georgian military attacked Russian peacekeepers in the self-proclaimed republic of South Ossetia could have been avoided.

"And it is an absolute challenge", - said the Prime Minister, who, as President, sanctioned in 2008, the input units of the Russian 58th army in South Ossetia, and the outbreak of hostilities on Georgian territory. Only Russia and a handful of countries recognise South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent.

Recall that on 5 January 2008, Georgia simultaneously with the presidential election held a referendum on the question of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation membership.

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In a show of support for Georgia, foreign ministers of Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, and a Cabinet member from Ukraine, visited Tbilisi Tuesday, urging Russian Federation to withdraw its troops from Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Together with Ukraine, they also issued a joint statement demanding "full implementation of the ceasefire agreement", involvement in the process of International Geneva Conversations and the admittance of the EU's Monitoring Mission to the occupied territories of Georgia.

"Any illegitimate activity is unacceptable for us", Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said.

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In response to Medvedev's opposition, Tengiz Pkhaladze, advisor to the president of Georgia on foreign affairs, said Georgia's integration with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation was "important for security and stability of the region".

"There is an unresolved territorial conflict ... and would they bring such a country into the military alliance?" "It could provoke a disgusting conflict". Therefore, I hope that the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leadership will have enough sense not to take any steps in this direction'.

The Russian prime minister described NATO's eastward expansion as a major security threat to Russia.

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"The Russian Federation has not implemented its global obligations despite constant calls from the worldwide community. and has further reinforced its illegal military presence on the ground", the ministry said in a statement.

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