Georgia , Tbilisi, Sept. 8 / Trend N. Kirtskhalia /
T hree Russian MI-8 military helicopters breached the Georgian airspace over the Tanie Gorge near the Shatili village in severe violation of the fundamental principles of international law, as well as sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia , the Georgian Foreign Ministry's statement said.
The helicopters intruded 3 km deep into the Georgian airspace and circled around the Georgian border police checkpoint for approximately 15 minutes. Afterwards the helicopters left the Georgian airspace.
This violation of Georgia's airspace represents a continuation of Russia's policy aimed at infringing on Georgia's statehood and independence. Such a blatant contravention of international law clearly aims at provoking the adequate response from the Georgian side, and intends to further escalate the security situation on the ground. Under the aforesaid circumstances, the Georgian side has acted responsibly and with restraint, as further deterioration of the security is not in the interests of Georgia and the wider region.
Russia's continuous breach of its obligations undertaken under the Six-Point Ceasefire Agreement, its utter disrespect of international law, its reluctance to sign the non-use of force agreement with Georgia, the masterminding of terrorist attacks from the occupied territories, as well as the repeated intrusions into the Georgia's airspace serve as clear evidence of Russia's aggressive intentions toward Georgia. Under these circumstances, it becomes obvious that new provocations should be expected from the Russian side.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry will duly inform the United Nations, OSCE and other relevant international organizations on the aforementioned incident. Furthermore, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia expects the international community to both provide a proper assessment of the recent violation of the Georgian airspace by the Russian armed forces and continue to insist on Russia's full implementation of the August 12, 2008 Cease-Fire Agreement along with pressuring it to respect fundamental norms and principles of international law.