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Arrested former peacekeepers 'were drunk'

According to the Georgian Defence Ministry, three Russian peacekeepers have been detained by Georgian military police in the city of Poti in the west of the country. The ministry says the peacekeepers breached the security zone in the Georgian and Abkhazi

The ministry also claims they were wearing civilian clothes and were drunk. Only one of the three men had any ID on him and no-one had a Georgian visa.

Aleksandr Diordiyev from the CIS peacekeeping forces confirmed the report, but said the detained men had been dismissed from the Russian army days before the incident.

“On December 22 they were sent back to Russian territory. Now the command of the peacekeeping forces is holding an investigation that will determine how those people came to be in Poti,” Diordiyev said.

Abkhazia broke away from Georgia following a bloody conflict that left hundreds dead in the early 1990s. Abkhazia’s self-proclaimed independence has yet to be recognized by the international community.

There have been frequent and mutual accusations of ceasefire violations from both Abkhazia and Georgia over the past years, which is why peacekeeping mission, including Russian representatives, is stationed in the region. However Poti is 12 kilometres from the peacekeepers' zone of responsibility.

Archil Mamageishvili, Deputy Head of the Military Ppolice Department is preparing to interrogate the ex-peacekeepers

“We will either transfer them to the peacekeeping forces or charge them here. They had no right to be on territory controlled by Georgia,” Mamageishvili said.