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14 Aug, 2008 07:53

Ignoring Gori arsenal would have been mad – Russian FM

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has criticised media reports on Wednesday which had claimed that Russian tanks were on their way to Tbilisi. Lavrov told a news conference that a Russian convoy driving away from Go

“The weapons were ready for use, including the tanks,” he said. "It would have been mad to turn a blind eye to that and pass by the munitions. Anyone with bad intentions – a madman – could have jumped in a tank and started shooting.

“The Russian military were neutralising this arsenal. So, these tanks were driven away from Gori. The march was spotted, and CNN started trumpeting this across the world as breaking news – Russian tanks on the move to Tbilisi.”

Lavrov said he was disappointed that images of the convoy had been misrepresented to viewers and readers around the world. He added that the easy-to-access arsenal near Gori had to be dealt with.

“Reconnaissance troops had detected enormous amounts of weapons,” he said. “Military hardware, some 15 tanks, armoured personnel carriers, a lot of ammunition and explosives, not to mention small arms – the same amount of weapons was found near the city of Senaki.”