North Atlantic Treaty Organisation rebuked Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday for visiting the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia on the ninth anniversary of a brief war over the territory and another disputed region, South Ossetia. According to him, promising that Georgia would one day become a member of the alliance alarmed Moscow and gave false encouragement to the Georgian government.
"The most important thing is that we have entirely special relations with Abkhazia", news agencies reported Putin as saying as he met with Khajimba in the Black Sea resort of Pitsunda. We safeguard the security and independence of Abkhazia. "I am sure that this will continue in the future".
"The United States fully supports Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders and rejects Russia's recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia", Nauert's statement said.
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Russian president visits Abkhazia on anniversary of brief war over the territory.
State's condemnation did not stop Putin from expressing his commitment to building a joint military contingent with Abkhazia's separatist administration's leader Raul Khadzhimba during his visit. Russian Federation has moved to effectively incorporate the regions in its own military command, which Georgia considers another step in an ongoing occupation of its territory. Representative of Russias State Duma Konstantin Zatulin said Putins visit is connected with the tense situation in Abkhazia and the United States Vice President Mike Pences recent trip to Georgia.
Following the 2008 war, Georgia and Russian Federation broke off diplomatic relations and Moscow recognized Abkhazia and another Georgian breakaway region, South Ossetia, as independent countries.
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President Giorgi Margvelashvili, who also attended the cemetery commemoration, added: "No Georgian will ever tolerate the [Russian] occupation".
The U.S. State Department repeated that support on August 9 in the wake of the Putin visit.
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The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology did not issue any tsunami warning and said that it expected aftershocks. In February, a 6.5-magnitude quake killed eight people and left more than 250 injured outside the southern city of Surigao.