Polish security head fired after shooting in Georgia

Georgia Materials 27 November 2008 21:10 (UTC +04:00)

The head of security for Polish President Lech Kaczynski was fired after shooting rang out on Sunday near the Polish and Georgian presidential motorcade near the South Ossetian border, local media reported on Thursday, dpa reported.

Colonel Krzysztof Olszowiec was fired amid allegations he had failed to provide adequate security during the incident, Polish media reported.

The government issued a report on Thursday saying the incident was not an attack on the Georgian and Polish presidents, and Poland's Government Protection Bureau (BOR) was not given adequate time to arrange security for the visit, reported the Polish Press Agency.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk said the report showed "very many obvious" steps were not taken to ensure the president's safety, and warned that officials should not "make work harder" for BOR.

No one was injured in Sunday's shooting, but the incident raised tensions between Russia and the European Union, whose eastern member states favour suspending the bloc's relations with Russia over its conflict with Georgia.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said the shots were staged as "yet another provocation" by Georgia.

Kaczynski, a euro-skeptic politician who is staunchly pro-Georgia, has said he heard Russian being spoken when the shots were fired. Kaczynski added that he did not believe the incident had been orchestrated by Georgia to make Russia look bad.

The Georgian government said on Sunday that Russian patrol personnel fired shots at the motorcade.

Kaczynski said he was "deeply uneasy" about Olszowiec's dismissal, and said he did not want BOR's protection during his upcoming trip to Asia.