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Georgia blames another crime on Russia

Tbilisi insists Russia is connected with unsolved grave crimes recently committed in the republic

Georgia's Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili insists that a man from the Russian special services was at head of Soon after the Georgian Foreign Ministry disclosed the attack at George W. Bush, it also reported the arrest of suspects of committing a terrorist attack in Gori on February 1, 2005 that left 3 men killed and over 20 people wounded after an explosion near the police building. Georgia's Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili insists that a man from the Russian special services was at head of "the subversive group" that committed the act of terrorism and other crimes. This way the Georgian authorities demonstrate they cannot prove that Arutyunyan detained because of the attacks at George W. Bush and Mikhail Saakashvili is connected with Russian military men.

A strong explosion sounded near the Shida Kartli regional police building in the town of Gori February 1, 2005. Experts stated that a car parked near the police building was stuffed with 80 kg of explosive mixture of plastid and hexogen. The explosion killed three policemen; 23 policemen more and some passers-by were wounded.

Now, the Georgian authorities want to blame Russia for the crime. Vano Merabishvili says that "during a special operation on July 17, the Georgian Interior Ministry detained Valiev and Zaseyev who had committed the act of terrorism in Gori." Both men have been delivered to Tbilisi. The Interior Minister reported at a special briefing on Monday that the police had identified that some Joseph Kochiev bought the car further used in the terrorist act. The man was detained, Merabishvili reported. The minister said that about ten other members of "the subversive group" were put on wanted list. He added that Colonel Anatoly Sysoyev from the Russian Army Staff's Central Intelligence Department was the founder of the group. Besides, the Georgian minister told journalists he had already met the Russian ambassador in Georgia to give him "all important materials."

Russian diplomats are surprised to hear such statements from the Georgian authorities. It seems that once again Tbilisi wants to blame any crime committed on the Georgian territory on Russia and conducts no investigation of these crimes at all. The Russian Embassy in Georgia is sure that the Georgian authorities are mistaken again. And the Russian Embassy in Georgia denies any connection of Russian officials or structures with crimes on the Georgian territory, the spokesman for the Russian legation in Georgia Eugeny Ivanov stated recently.

The Russian army staff also denies the statements of the Georgian authorities on connection of the Russian Intelligence and special forces with the diversions committed on Georgia's territory in 2005. "This is a provocation demonstrating that official Tbilisi is unfriendly toward Russia. The men whom Merabishvili names have never been connected with the Russian army," a high-ranking official from the Russian army staff told journalists.

It is not clear yet what evidence Georgia has; but the Russian Embassy in Georgia believes that Georgia is unlikely to have any evidence at all. Georgia is eager to blame Russia for the terrorist acts because of the failure to prove that "some Russian spy" attempted to kill George W. Bush.

And today it turned out that withdrawal of the Russian military bases from Georgia will be delayed. This is not the fault of the Russian military, but rather the fault of the Georgian authorities. Deputy commander of the Russian troops on the Georgian territory Colonel Vladimir Kuparadze said after talks on army problems in Moscow that armored vehicles would not be able to cover the distance between Akhalkalaki and the railway station in Akhaltsikh because of poor bridges on the way. This means that Russian armored vehicles cannot be transported via railway to Batumi.

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