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Georgian President Vows No Military Plans in Breakaway Regions


Georgia's President Mikhail Saakashvili has ruled out any plans for military action in the breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Mr. Saakashvili said he prefers dialogue with Russia to resolve the crisis sparked by pro-Russian separatists in those regions.

On Friday, Mr. Putin accused Georgia of planning military action in the breakaway areas and he warned there could be a bloodbath.

Georgia's foreign minister, Gela Bezhuashvili, rejected the comments and accused Mr. Putin of misinforming European leaders about the issue. Georgia has vowed to bring the regions back under control, after separatists declared independence in the early 1990s.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in Moscow Saturday and urged the two nations to lower their hostile rhetoric. Rice said she plans to discuss the crisis during talks with Mr. Putin.

Tensions between the two former Soviet republics also have been high because of the arrest of four Russian army officers accused of spying in Georgia. Georgia later released the men.

Russia denied the charges and retaliated with sanctions against Georgia. In recent weeks, Russia has deported hundreds of Georgians suspected of being illegal immigrants.

Some information for this report provided by AP.