TITLE=RUSSIA / GEORGIA ATTACK (L ONLY)
INTRO: Georgia has protested to Russia about an air
attack on Georgian territory along its border with
Chechnya. V-O-A Correspondent Peter Heinlein in
Moscow reports on rising tensions between Russia and
its southern Caucasus neighbor.
TEXT: Georgian officials say three helicopters
crossed the border from Chechnya Wednesday and dropped
explosive devices on a remote mountain slope. No one
was injured in the attack.
Minister of State Vazha Lorkdipanidze said Georgia
protested the violation of its airspace and demanded
an explanation from Moscow.
/// Lorkdipanidze Act - in Russian - Fade
He says, "We issued a decisive protest to the Russian
Foreign Ministry, and to the Russian ambassador in
In Moscow, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
confirmed the airspace violation, but had no other
details. It was not immediately clear whether the
incursion was intentional or accidental.
The speaker of Georgia's parliament says President
Eduard Shevardnadze was informed of the incident and
would make a statement in Istanbul, where he is
attending the European security summit.
The air attack comes at a time when relations are at a
low ebb between Russia and its south Caucasus
neighbors, especially Georgia. Russia has indirectly
accused the Georgian government of aiding Chechen
Georgia has denied the accusations, saying various
forces in Russia are trying to create tensions between
Moscow and Tbilisi. But Georgia has taken in more
than two-thousand Chechen refugees who have trekked
across high Caucasus Mountain paths to reach the
17-Nov-1999 11:58 AM EDT (17-Nov-1999 1658 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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