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22 Aug, 2007 15:14

Russia-Georgia missile row: sides stand firm

Georgia's Ambassador to the United Nations, Irakli Alasania, has repeated the allegation that Russia did fire a missile on its territory on August 6. Georgia claims two Russian Su-24 fighter planes violated the country's airspace and fired a missile.

“Seven countries have confirmed the incontrovertible evidence of Russian involvement in the other six violations of Georgian airspace and bombing my country’s territory. Russia, meanwhile, has been enabled to provide any evidence that it may any way contradict the conclusions of the independent international experts,” Irakli Alasania stressed.
Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement in the incident providing data from radars which, it says, proves the missile could not have originated from a Russian plane.
Meanwhile, no Russian experts have been allowed to the scene of the incident.
Russia's Ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, made a statement on August 21 stating Moscow's position.
“On the whole the information and the facts gathered by Russian experts during their work in Georgia on August 16 and 17 and the behaviour of our Georgian colleagues make it possible to state with full confidence that the incident of August 6 was a deliberate provocation organised and carried out by those in Georgia who are interested in aggravating the situation,” he said.