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Georgia points finger at Russia for mutiny plot

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Georgia points finger at Russia for mutiny plot

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Georgia’s government has accused Russia of trying to foment a coup on the eve of NATO war games after quashing a mutiny at a military base.

With the month-long exercises scheduled to start today, Moscow denied the charge, accusing Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili of trying to divert attention from weeks of opposition protests. Saakashvili, who personally went to see the mutineers after surrendering, said: “I want to warn the Russian Federation, that every attempt of escalating the tension inside the territory of Georgia and on its occupied zones has a provocative nature.” The rebellion took place at the Mukhrovani tank base just outside Tbilisi. Speaking to euronews Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denied any involvement in the mutiny: “The present Georgian leadership has proven to be a supporter of this kind of provocation. I’m absolutely sure that it’s not by chance it happened right before the manoeuvres in Georgia on May 6, that we warned shouldn’t take place.’‘ Lavrov says he will not attend a NATO-Russia Council meeting this month after the alliance expelled two Russian diplomats. In Tbilisi, opposition supporters continued their calls for Saakashvili to step down.