(Reuters) – Latvian President Andris Berzins said on Wednesday an agreement deepening cooperation between Russia and Georgia’s Abkhazia region threatened regional stability and security.
But, during a visit to the Georgian capital Tbilisi, he also said it was vital for Russia’s neighbors to look for ways to live beside it in peace.
The strategic partnership agreement signed by Russia and Abkhazia on Monday envisages a “joint defense and security space and stipulates Russian “protection of the state border of the Republic of Abkhazia with Georgia.”
“I consider this agreement … will negatively affect safety and stability in the region,” Berzins told a news conference with Georgian President Georgy Margvelashvili.
Russia and Georgia fought a brief war in 2008 over breakaway moves by Abkhazia and another region, South Ossetia, which Moscow has recognized as independent countries.
Monday’s agreement was criticized by NATO and the European Union, which are locked in a diplomatic standoff with Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine, and Georgia has warned that Moscow might be preparing to annex Abkhazia.