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Russia concerned by US aid for Georgia
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A senior Russian general said Thursday that Russia questioned cargoes airlifted by the United States to Georgia were really humanitarian aid, Russian news agencies reported.

"US military transport aircraft are reported to have been airlifting some humanitarian cargoes to Tbilisi airport," Col. Gen.Anatoly Nogovitsyn, deputy head of Russia's General Staff, was quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency as saying at a press conference.

"We, the Russians, are extremely concerned about it," he said.

In a brief statement on Wednesday, US President George W. Bush reiterated that the United States strongly supports the Georgian government and demanded Russian troops now in Georgia must withdraw.

The United States sent two C-17 military planes to Georgia late Wednesday and early Thursday as part of its humanitarian mission.

Meanwhile, Nogovitsyn denied claims by Georgian officials that Russian troops had blown up Georgia's Black Sea port of Poti, saying Russian armed forces have not taken any military action except conducting reconnaissance for two days.

He also refuted the reports that Russia had sent tanks into the Georgian city of Gori. However, he said armored vehicles with military personnel were there to take care of military depots abandoned by the Georgian forces.

The general said that Russia had stopped the buildup of troops in the region, but has not yet set a withdrawal date.

(Xinhua News Agency August 15, 2008)

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