Tbilisi, Georgia, April 16
By Nana Kirtzkhalia - Trend:
The trial over three Georgian journalists detained in the breakaway Tskhinvali region will take place on April 16, Russia's First Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin told journalists after his meeting with Georgian Prime Minister's Special Envoy on Relations with Russia, Zurab Abashidze in Prague.
Grigory Karasin hopes that the Georgian journalists will be released today, Rustavi-2 TV channel reported.
"I am familiar with the statement that was made by your side regarding the Georgian journalists who crossed the border without warning. It is unfortunate that such incidents mostly occur before our meetings in Prague. This indicates that along with one part of Georgian population which wants to recover the relations with us, there is a second part that wants to create confrontation, hatred in Georgian society, "Karasin said.
Russian border guards detained the journalists of TV3 - Bella Zakidze, operator Vakhor Lekiashvili and technical officer Michael Mihoev on April 15 for violating the so-called South Ossetian border. Currently, they are in Tskhinvali.
Large scale military action was launched in South Ossetia on August 8, 2008. Later, Russian troops occupied Tskhinvali and expelled the Georgian military.
Russia recognised the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in late August. In response, Tbilisi ended diplomatic relations with Moscow and has called the two unrecognised republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia occupied territories.
Translated by L.Z.
Edited by C.N.