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Tbilisi Wants Russia’s Air Traffic Records

Georgia has officially requested that Russia hand over air traffic records to facilitate the investigation of the August 6 missile incident, the Georgian Foreign Ministry said.

Georgia’s deputy foreign minister, Nikoloz Vashakidze, told his Russian counterpart, Grigory Karasin, on the phone on August 9 that Tbilisi was ready to cooperate with Moscow to clarify the incident.

Georgia claims a Russian attack aircraft, an SU-24 Fencer, violated Georgian airspace and dropped a Raduga Kh-58 anti-radar tactically guided missile. The rocket, which did not explode, hit an area near the villages of Shavshvebi and Tsiteliubani in the Shida Kartli region, which is near breakaway South Ossetia. The area is about 80 kilometers from the Russian border and about 65 kilometers from Tbilisi.

An air traffic radar print-out, provided by the Georgian authorities and seen by a joint monitoring team, made up of peacekeepers and OSCE observers, has confirmed that an aircraft entered and exited Georgian airspace over the Georgian town of Stepantsminda on the Russian border on August 6. Russia has strongly denied any involvement in the incident, calling it instead a Georgian provocation.

Georgia’s deputy foreign minister has also informed his Russian counterpart that Tbilisi wants to set up “a group of international independent experts” which would probe into the incident.

Nino Kajaia, a spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry told Civil.Ge on August 10, that the ministry was “actively working” with partner countries to engage them in this international investigative group.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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