Return Seized Humvees - U.S. Tells Russia

U.S. army Humvees seized by the Russian forces in the port town of Poti should be returned immediately, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) said on August 21.

"We’ve certainly expressed our position over the fact that these Humvees are U.S. property and should be returned. It’s that simple," Bryan Whitman, the Pentagon spokesman, said.

Humvees, which where awaiting shipment back to the U.S after taking part in U.S.-Georgian military exercises, were seized by the Russian forces on August 19.

"We don’t have any assurance at this point that they’re prepared to do the right thing and return them," Whitman said of Russia’s forces.

He declined to specify the exact number of American vehicles in Russia’s possession, calling it "a handful." It was reported earlier that four Humvees were seized.

Earlier on August 21 Col. Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsin, deputy head of the general staff of the Russian armed forces, declined to respond when asked about the seized Humvees, saying instead that the Russian military had more important things to deal with.

[Source: Civil Georgia, Tbilisi, 22Aug08]

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