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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Moscow Halts Talks With Tbilisi

APA young demonstrator carrying a poster depicting Saakashvili as Hitler during a protest near the Georgian Embassy on Friday.
The Foreign Ministry said Friday that it has pulled out of talks with Georgia over disputes in separatist Georgian regions due to days of loud and abusive protests outside the Russian Embassy in Tbilisi.

The nonstop protest, organized more than a week ago by a group of Georgian computer programmers and Internet users, is calling for the withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers from breakaway Georgian regions South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

Protesters have been using laptop computers to project anti-war and anti-Russian slogans on the walls of the embassy and loudspeakers to play Georgian national and Russian anti-war songs, the Georgian online magazine Civil Georgia reported.

"While the scenes of bacchanalia outside the Russian Embassy in Tbilisi continue, it will be impossible to hold any contacts or talks with Georgia, either on military issues or a 'big' agreement," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"There is no doubt that the disturbance is going on with the knowledge and evident permission of the authorities," it said, adding that the complicity of the Georgian government was a breach of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations.

The ministry also said the embassy has stopped issuing visas to Georgians who want to visit Russia, where tens of thousands of Georgians despairing of employment at home work or do business.

The Russian Embassy sent a protest note to the Georgian government last Tuesday. "They [the protesters] do not allow the embassy to work normally and our employees and their families to sleep," embassy spokesman Yevgeny Ivanov said, Civil Georgia reported.

Meanwhile, several hundred South Ossetian protesters and Russian nationalists rallied Friday outside the Georgian Embassy in Moscow holding portraits of Saakashvili depicted as Adolf Hitler.

Georgia accuses Moscow of backing separatists in South Ossetia, which seeks a union with Russia, and Abkhazia.

(Reuters, MT)