Georgia is accused of blackmail by Putin

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The Independent Online

President Vladimir Putin has warned Georgia against further provoking Moscow, accusing Tbilisi's pro-Western leadership of resorting to blackmail during the recent stand-off over the arrest of four Russian officers.

Russia's lower house of parliament passed a resolution strongly condemning the Georgian government, accusing it of "anti-Russian" behaviour and signalling "harsher measures" if the situation worsens.

Days after Georgia arrested the officers, accusing them of spying, and Moscow imposed sanctions on Georgia. Tbilisi released the officers on Monday but the measures remain.Mr Putin said: "I would not counsel anyone to talk to Russia in the language of provocation and blackmail."