Russia warns nations over rearming Georgia

Image: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, meet with South Ossetian counterpart Murat Dzhioev in Moscow on Tuesday.Yuri Kochetkov / EPA
/ Source: The Associated Press

Russia's foreign minister warned Tuesday that any nation supplying weapons to Georgia would put its ties with Russia at risk.

Sergey Lavrov said Russia was concerned by some nations talking about the need to rearm the Georgian military. He didn't name any nation, but Russia angrily criticized the United States, Ukraine and other nations for providing Georgia with military equipment before its August war with Russia.

Lavrov spoke to reporters a day after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev issued a decree ordering the Cabinet to introduce sanctions against nations that ship weapons to Georgia.

"If they continue to send offensive weapons to Georgia, we will make conclusions regarding our relations with such countries," Lavrov said. He didn't specify what sanctions Russia may introduce.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday denounced Medvedev's decree as a "threat to global community." It also accused Russia of arming separatists in Georgia's breakaway regions in the runup to the August war and supplying weapons to "odious regimes" around the world.

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