Georgia Alleges Russian Role in a Coup Plot
Archived Articles 05 May 2009  EWR
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Olesya Vartanyan and Ellen Barry,

TBILISI, Georgia — Georgia said Tuesday that it had foiled a Russian-backed plot against the government as tensions rose a day before the scheduled start of NATO military exercises.

Georgian forces surrounded a tank unit that it accused of being involved in the plot and President Mikheil Saakashvili entered the base to negotiate the unit’s surrender. In a televised address, Mr. Saakashvili said the plot was an attempt by Russia to derail the planned exercises, which he called a “symbolic event.”

“We have information that the Russian Federation wants to exacerbate the situation in Georgia,” Mr. Saakashvili said. “We are asking our northern neighbor to refrain from any provocations.”

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