Georgia to sever diplomatic ties with Russia

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) -- Georgia says it's cutting diplomatic ties with Russia in protest of Russian troops occupying its territory.

Georgia will withdraw its remaining diplomats from its Moscow embassy tomorrow. The move comes after yesterday's unanimous vote by Georgia's parliament to break ties with what it calls the "aggressor country."

Russia is criticizing the decision. It says it won't benefit relations between the countries.

A Russian Foreign Ministry official is quoted in a media report as saying Russia will have to close its embassy in Georgia if diplomatic ties are severed.

Both nations' consulates will remain open, which is important for the many Georgians living in Russia.

Meanwhile, a lawmaker in South Ossetia (oh-SET'-yuh) says Russia intends to eventually absorb the breakaway province that was at the center of a five-day war earlier this month. The comments have added tension to the standoff.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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