Monday, September 8, 2008

GOVERNMENT PRESS RELEASE: Two Jets Enter Georgian Airspace, Poti Checkpoints Reinforced



Tbilisi, 7 September 2008 - from about 11:20 AM this morning, two jets illegally entered Georgian airspace from the Russian Federation and proceeded to circle over Tskhinvali and Shatili for a period of about 45 minutes, presumably on a reconnaissance mission. The precise aircraft type could not be confirmed.
Meanwhile, the Russian occupation forces are reinforcing, rather than vacating, its checkpoints near the strategic commercial port of Poti, which was visited by the USS Mount Whitney, the command ship of the US Navy's 6th Fleet, yesterday. The Nabada checkpoint was today expanded by 5 armoured presonnel carriers (APC) and about 50 troops. The Patara Poti checkpoint was reinforced by one APC, another vehicle and about 10 troops.
These troop movements come a day before Presidents Sarkozy and Barroso and High Representative Javier Solana are scheduled to visit Moscow and Tbilisi to ascertain the implementation of the 6-point ceasefire agreement. According to that agreement, Russian forces ought to have left Georgian core territory weeks ago already. The repeated violation of Georgian airspace and the expansion of Russia's checkpoint system far from the conflict zone suggests that the Russian Federation has no intention to honour its commitments.

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