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Georgia: The EU Checks Out, and Russia Checks in from Above

A Russian helicopter and a drone reportedly violated Georgian air space on March 6, just after a supportive visit by European Union Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle for Georgia's European integration plans. The alleged intrusion came amidst heightened local fears that the Crimea crisis will spill over to Georgia in some way.

The Russian drone and helicopter came whizzing in from Abkhazia and South Ossetia, respectively, and hovered over nearby Georgian police posts and villages, the foreign ministry reported. Tbilisi described the act as another violation of Georgia’s sovereignty and the 2008 ceasefire agreement with Russia.    

In a March 7 TV appearance, though, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili tried to allay mounting fears over Russian pressure; even though he himself has repeatedly told the public to expect such tactics as Georgia prepares to sign an association agreement and free-trade deal with the European Union this year.

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Georgia: The EU Checks Out, and Russia Checks in from Above

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