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TSKHINVAL, April 16. /ITAR-TASS/. South Ossetia’s border guard service is investigating the circumstances of border violation by three Georgian journalists, the republic’s State Security Committee says.
“At about 17:00 (local time) on April 15 patrol guards of Russia’s FSB (Federal Security Service) Border Guard Service for South Ossetia detained three Georgian citizens, who identified themselves as Tbilisi-based TV3 journalists, for violating the state border,” the Committee’s press service told ITAR-TASS on Wednesday.
The detainees are reporter Bela Zakaidze, cameraman Vakhtang Lekiashvili and broadcast technician Mikheil Mikhoev, the press service says.
The Russian Foreign Ministry says provocations on the Georgian-South Ossetian border are aimed at hampering a meeting between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin and Georgia’s special representative for improving relations with Russia, Zurab Abashidze.
“Reports prove that the trespassers deliberately crossed the border near the village of Adzvi and took photos of the security infrastructure,” it says.
“It is noteworthy that such provocations are being organized precisely on the eve of a regular meeting in Prague. These incidents, as well as the recent allegations about ‘Russia’s violation of Georgian airspace’, testify to internal rifts in the Georgian society: some want to normalize relations with Russia while others share (former Georgian president) Mikhail Saakhashvili’s policy of fanning tensions,” the ministry says.