Russia’s Defense Ministry said it is building up troop contingents in two separatist regions of Georgia because of what it called provocative actions by the former Soviet republic.
Details of the buildup have not been specified, but the announcement adds to tensions between the small Caucasus country and its giant neighbor. It also raises fears of a renewal of the fighting that broke out in the regions after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Georgia cut off talks with Russia about Moscow’s efforts to join the World Trade Organization in protest of Russian ties to the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, a top negotiator said Tuesday.
The regions seek either independence or absorption into Russia.
Russia has peacekeeping forces in both, but Georgia contends that the troops support the separatists.