Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

'Macron-economy' pun already worn out

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War (part 2)

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

New French economy minister signals changes to 35-hour week

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Valls ♥ Business

Read more

FOCUS

Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Terrorist ransoms: Should governments pay up for hostages?

Read more

ENCORE!

Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche star in 'Clouds of Sils Maria'

Read more

WEB NEWS

India: journalist launches "Rice Bucket Challenge"

Read more

  • Assad cannot be partner in fight against terrorism, says Hollande

    Read more

  • Kiev says Russian troops have entered Ukraine

    Read more

  • New Ebola case in Nigeria brings death toll to 1,552

    Read more

  • Video: 'Neither Baghdad nor the US can defeat the Islamic State'

    Read more

  • Platini will not run against Blatter for FIFA presidency

    Read more

  • Air France pilots announce week-long strike in September

    Read more

  • Erdogan's inauguration paves way for constitutional change

    Read more

  • New French economy minister takes swipe at 35-hour work week

    Read more

  • Air France suspends flights to Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone

    Read more

  • Uzi shooting by 9-year-old rekindles gun debate

    Read more

  • Mother of American journalist asks IS leader for his release

    Read more

  • UN probe accuses Syrian regime, Islamists of ‘crimes against humanity’

    Read more

  • Uruguayans sign up to grow marijuana at home

    Read more

  • Missouri governor appoints black public safety director

    Read more

  • French unemployment rises 0.8% in July to record high

    Read more

  • Video: Iraq’s Yazidis flee to spiritual capital of Lalish

    Read more

  • Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

    Read more

  • Airstrikes and Assad - Obama’s military conundrum in Syria

    Read more

Georgia claims drone it downed is Russian; Moscow denies it

Latest update : 2008-09-23

Georgian forces have shot down an unmanned reconnaissance drone that was flying over a key oil pipeline in the Caucasus nation. They claim it is Russian; Moscow denies it and accuses Tbilisi of provocation.

Georgia said on Tuesday it had shot down a Russian reconnaissance drone just south of the breakaway region of South Ossetia, but Russia denied the claim and accused Tbilisi of "provocation".

 

If confirmed, it would be the first such incident since last month when Russian forces repelled a Georgian offensive to retake South Ossetia from pro-Moscow separatists.

 

"This is the latest media provocation by Georgia with the aim of destabilising the situation in the region," Russian Defence Ministry Spokesman Alexander Drobyshevsky told Reuters.

"The aircraft of Russia's Defence Ministry have conducted no flights in the security zone," he said.

 

The Georgian Interior Ministry said the drone was shot down on Monday morning near the town of Gori, some 30 km (20 miles) from the de facto border with South Ossetia

 

"It was flying over the territory between the villages of Khurvaleti and Tsitelubani," said Interior Ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili. "We believe it was patrolling the territory where the Baku-Supsa (oil) pipeline runs."

 

The ministry displayed what it said was the Russian drone during a news conference. The aircraft was around one metre in length and 1.5 metres wide.

 

Utiashvili said it was a short-range drone capable of taking photographs, and suggested it had been launched from Russian positions at a 'security zone' just a few kilometres (miles) north of Gori.

 

Russian forces continue to hold positions inside undisputed Georgian territory after they repelled a Georgian assault on South Ossetia.

 

Under the terms of a French-brokered deal, Russian forces are due to withdraw from the 'security zones' adjacent to South Ossetia and another breakaway region, Abkhazia, by Oct. 10.

 

A European Union mission of at least 200 monitors begins deploying this week to observe the pullback.

 

Before last month's war, Georgia flew unmanned reconnaissance aircraft over Abkhazia. A United Nations report concluded one of them had been shot down by a Russian jet, though Moscow denied this.

Date created : 2008-09-23

COMMENT(S)