Russian war ships sail for Georgia
The Russian Navy has confirmed that a section of its Black Sea Fleet is en route to the Georgian coastline. The task force includes a missile cruiser.
Military officials insist the operation is to help refugees and is not part of an operation to blockade Georgia.
According to a source in the Russia’s defense ministry, three assault ships were earlier sent to the same destination.
‘This is not a sea-blockade, as a blockade would mean a state of war with Georgia, while we are not in a state of war’, the source said.
Georgia’s National Security Council Secretary, Aleksandr Lomaya, earlier said that Russian ships have reached the Abkhazian port of Ochamchir.
Ukraine may bar Russia from Black Sea
Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry has announced that Russian ships returning from the Georgian shore may be refused permission to enter its territorial waters in the Black Sea.
The ministry says Ukraine doesn’t want to be involved in the conflict between Russia and Georgia. It underlines that the move corresponds with the international law.
Meanwhile, Moscow remains unconvinced about Ukrainian claims of neutrality.
Referring to the shooting down of a Russian Tu-22 bomber over Georgia, the Defence Ministry says the Georgian military would have needed a C-200 anti-aircraft system to carry out the attack.
According to Russia, the Georgian army did not possess such equipment before the conflict.
Only Russia and Ukraine are armed with C-200 anti-aircraft systems, which is leading Russian defence officials to suspect that Kiev may have sold the equipment to Georgia.
[Source: Rusia Today, Moscow, 10Aug08]
The Question of South Ossetia
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