Proliferation Press

A webpage devoted to tracking and analyzing current events related to the proliferation of WMD/CBRN.

Russia-Georgia Missile Jolt: Two Independent Groups Take Georgia’s Side, But Don’t Think Russia is Backing Down

Posted by K.E. White on August 22, 2007

Update: Russia Denies, But Now in the Face of Two Independent Assessments

The charges are being leveled: “political tsunami” (Russian UN representative Vitaly Churkin) vs. “shameless Soviet diplomacy” (Georgian Deputy Minister Merab Antadze)

From the International Herald Tribune:

Russia accused Georgia on Tuesday of fabricating claims that a Russian plane entered the country’s airspace and dropped a missile because it wanted to create “a political tsunami.”

Georgia says a Russian SU-24 jet entered the country’s airspace and dropped a missile on Aug. 6. The missile did not explode and no casualties were reported, but the incident sharply escalated long-standing tensions between Georgia and its giant neighbor over the breakaway regions of South Ossetia — near where the missile fell — and Abkhazia.

Two groups of independent experts that investigated the incident agreed that Georgian airspace was violated three times on Aug. 6 by aircraft flying from Russian airspace. The second team, from Estonia, Poland and Britain, said their investigation on Aug. 18-19 found that the last two passes were towards Georgian radar near Gori, and the missile was launched approximately 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from the radar site.

But Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told a news conference that Russian defense experts who visited Georgia last week concluded that the “outlandish accusations” of Russian involvement “appear unfounded.”

Another post will delve more into this curious diplomatic maneuvering.

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