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By CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA

GORI, Georgia (AP) — Russia’s foreign minister declared Thursday that the world “can forget about” Georgia’s territorial integrity, and officials said Russia targeted military infrastructure and equipment — including radars and patrol boats at a Black Sea naval base and oil hub.

Two American military planes delivered cargos of aid — including food and medicine — to Georgia’s wounded and refugees. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he sees no need to invoke U.S. military force in the war between Russia and Georgia. He warned, however, that U.S.-Russian relations could suffer for “years to come” if Moscow doesn’t retreat.

Russia’s president met in the Kremlin with the leaders of Georgia’s two separatist provinces — a clear sign that Moscow could absorb the regions. And the comments from Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov appeared to come as a challenge to the United States, where President Bush has called for Russia to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia.”

“One can forget about any talk about Georgia’s territorial integrity because, I believe, it is impossible to persuade South Ossetia and Abkhazia to agree with the logic that they can be forced back into the Georgian state,” Lavrov told reporters.

The White House said it would ignore the comment.

“Our position on Georgia’s territorial integrity is not going to change no matter what anybody says,” White House press secretary Dana Perino said Thursday. “And so I would consider that to be bluster from the foreign minister of Russia. We will ignore it.”

In Washington, an American official said Russia appeared to be sabotaging airfields and other military infrastructure as its forces pulled back. The U.S. official described eyewitnesses accounts for The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The official said the Russian strategy seems like a deliberate attempt to cripple the already battered Georgian military.

“We are very concerned about these reports; it is a serious situation,” said State Department spokesman Robert Wood.

Georgia’s coast guard said Russian troops had burned patrol boats and destroyed radars and other equipment at the port city of Poti, home to Georgia’s main naval base and a major hub for oil exports to Europe.

An AP Television News crew in the oil port city of Poti saw one destroyed Georgian military boat, and two Russian armored vehicles and two Russian transport trucks. Soldiers who identified themselves as Russian peacekeepers blocked the crew from going further.

Russian General Staff Col.-Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn avoided comment on the Russian presence in Poti, saying only that Russian forces were operating within their “area of responsibility.”

In Vienna, Victor Dolidze, Georgia’s ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said Russians were also looting the Georgian military base in Senaki.

On Poti’s outskirts, the APTN crew followed a different convoy of Russian troops as they searched a forest for Georgian military equipment.

Russian troops also appeared to be settling in elsewhere in Georgia, including in the key city of Gori, where a checkpoint confrontation ended in the confused flight of Georgian forces.

In the morning, columns of Georgian police and military vehicles prepared to reoccupy Gori, but by afternoon, Russian tanks had blocked the entrance to the town, explosions were bursting on the other side of a hill and panicked Georgian troops were fleeing for safety in pickup trucks.

In Washington, a Pentagon official said U.S. intelligence had assessed that the number of Russians in Gori was small — about 100 to 200 troops. But the Russian presence in Gori, only 60 miles west of Tbilisi, was viewed as a demonstration of the vulnerability of the capital.

Nogovitsyn said Russian troops went to Gori to establish contact with the local civilian administration and take control over military depots left behind by the Georgian forces. “The abandoned weapons needed protection,” he said.

A Russian general in Gori had said Wednesday it would take at least two days to leave the city.

In France, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice issued another urgent call on Russia to honor the cease-fire with Georgia as she was bringing the formal agreement to Tbilisi to have it signed Friday by the president of Georgia, a democratic former Soviet republic that is now strongly aligned with Washington.

French President Nicholas Sarkozy said the documents are “intended to consolidate the cease-fire.”

The EU-sponsored accord had envisioned Russian and Georgian forces returning to their original positions.

In Washington, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. James Cartwright said Russian forces appeared to be forming up in Georgia in preparation for withdrawal.

“It’s difficult at the tactical level to know each and every engagement in each town,” Cartwright said, “but, generally, the forces are starting to move.”

U.S. aid arrived in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi on Wednesday and Thursday, but Nogovitsyn said he was not sure that the U.S. planes carried exclusively humanitarian cargo. “It causes our concern,” he said.

Besides the hundreds killed since hostilities broke out, the United Nations estimates 100,000 Georgians have been uprooted; Russia says some 30,000 residents of South Ossetia fled into the neighboring Russian province of North Ossetia.

Georgia, bordering the Black Sea between Turkey and Russia, was ruled by Moscow for most of the two centuries preceding the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union. Russia has distributed passports to most in South Ossetia and Abkhazia and stationed troops they call peacekeepers there since the early 1990s.

Georgia wants the Russian peacekeepers out, but Medvedev has insisted they stay.

In his meeting with leaders of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Medvedev reiterated Moscow’s longtime position that the regions should be allowed to choose their own affiliations.

More homes in deserted ethnic Georgian villages in the breakaway province of South Ossetia were apparently set ablaze Wednesday, sending clouds of smoke over the foothills north of the provincial capital, Tskhinvali.

One Russian colonel, who refused to give his name, blamed the fires on looters.

Those with ethnic Georgian backgrounds who have stayed behind — like 70-year-old retired teacher Vinera Chebataryeva — seem increasingly unwelcome in South Ossetia.

As she stood sobbing in her wrecked apartment near the center of Tskhinvali, Chebataryeva said a skirmish between Ossetian soldiers and a Georgian tank had gouged the two gaping shell holes in her wall, bashing in her piano and destroying her furniture.

Janna Kuzayeva, an ethnic Ossetian neighbor, claimed the Georgian tank fired the shell at Chebataryeva’s apartment.

“We know for sure her brother spied for Georgians,” said Kuzayeva. “We let her stay here, and now she’s blaming everything on us.”

North of Tskhinvali, a number of former Georgian communities have been abandoned in the last few days. “There isn’t a single Georgian left in those villages,” said Robert Kochi, a 45-year-old South Ossetian.

But he had little sympathy for his former Georgian neighbors. “They wanted to physically uproot us all,” he said. “What other definition is there for genocide?”

Associated Press writers Misha Dzhindzhikhavili in Tbilisi; Mansur Mirovalev in Tskhinvali, Georgia; Jim Heintz in Moscow; and Anne Gearan, Matthew Lee and Pauline Jelinek in Washington contributed to this report.

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