Ukraine says Russia fueled Georgia conflict with arms sales

17:42, 24 October 2008
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Russia supplied arms to both Abkhazia and Georgia?

Ukraine has accused Russia of supplying arms to both Abkhazia and Georgia before a five-day conflict over South Ossetia in August, a spokesman for the Ukrainian foreign ministry said on Friday, RIA Novosti reported.

Ukraine`s comments echo Russian accusations that Kyiv delivered arms to Tbilisi prior to the conflict. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on October 2 that he considered the alleged arms supplies "a crime."

The spokesman said that unlike Russia, Ukraine had not violated any prohibition on the sale of weapons.

"We pointed out to our Russian colleagues that it was Russia who violated the ban on arms deliveries to the territory of Abkhazia. The ban was established by the international community as far back as 1992, but throughout recent years Russia was busy aggressively arming both Georgia and South Ossetia," he said, adding that it probably was one of causes of the conflict.

The spokesman stressed that Ukraine had carried out military-technical cooperation with countries not under international embargoes, and would continue to do so.

He said that Georgia was not restricted by any sanctions, and cooperation between Kiev and Tbilisi was very transparent and in strict accordance with international law.

RIA Novosti

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