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British, Estonian, Polish Experts Probe into Missile Incident

British, Estonian and Polish experts have arrived in Tbilisi to investigate the circumstances surrounding the August 6 missile incident, officials said on August 18.

The British ambassador in Tbilisi, Denis Keefe, told journalists he hoped the group would provide a prompt and comprehensive conclusion.

The Estonian Foreign Ministry said Tallinn was sending two experts, one on radars and another on air forces.

?The Estonian experts will help to investigate this incident and to find out who is behind it,? Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said. ?We find it is important that the investigation should be carried out under the aegis of some international organization.?

This is the second international investigatory group composed of experts from western countries. The International Group of Experts (IGE), consisting of eight members from Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden and the United States, worked in Georgia on August 12-14 and concluded that an unidentified aircraft had entered Georgian airspace from Russia, had dropped a Kh-58 anti-radar guided missile and had flown back to Russia.

A separate probe into the incident was carried out by a group of Russian military experts on August 16-17. It said that there was no evidence to back the Georgian claims or the IGE conclusions. The Russian experts suggested the incident had been staged.

Meanwhile, the Russian deputy foreign minister, Grigory Karasin, told the Vesti news channel on August 18 that the missile incident was not in Russia?s interests. The incident, he said, only benefited ?the enemies of normal relations between Moscow and Tbilisi.?

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


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