Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Russian ambassador leaves Georgia

TBILISI, September 30 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Ambassador Vyacheslav Kovalenko left Georgia along with 22 embassy officials on Tuesday, a month after Tbilisi severed diplomatic ties with Moscow.
Relations were broken off after a short military conflict with Russia over South Ossetia in August and Russia's subsequent recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the other Georgian breakaway republic.
"Several diplomats will stay here [in Tbilisi]. Maintenance staff will remain to take care of the embassy building, which is Russia's property," Kovalenko told reporters before leaving.
A civil aviation source told RIA Novosti that a plane had left Moscow early this morning to collect the Russian diplomatic staff from Tbilisi.
Russia recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states on August 26, two weeks after it had expelled Georgian troops from South Ossetia following Tbilisi's August 8 military offensive against the republic.


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