The Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has called on the international community to react to ongoing Russian provocations in and around the territory of the self-proclaimed separatist Republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The Ministry directed its call primarily to the the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia and to the co-chairs of the Geneva talks representing the European Union, the United Nations and the OSCE.
According to the Ministry on 19 August, at 10:57, a Russian Mi-8 military helicopter violated the airspace controlled by Tbilisi near the village of Zardiaantkari in the Gori district. After the incident, the helicopter continued to fly in the direction of Akhalgori, which currently is controlled by the authorities of the self-declared South Ossetian Republic.
The incident occured concurrentlky as Russia announced that it was holding military exercises in Abkhazia and South Ossetia
According to the Russian Defense Ministry's official website the exercises will last till September 18. More than 2000 soldiers are participating in the exercises as well as heavy military equipment.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry described Russian action as "provocative in nature and a threat to regional security and stability". The Foreign Ministry called on Russia "to respect the principles of international law and to comply with its obligations, including under the terms of the 12 August ceasefire agreement of 2008".
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