Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Military Space News .


Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















UN concludes Russia shot down Georgian spy plane

by Staff Writers
Tbilisi (AFP) May 26, 2008
The UN concluded in a report Monday that a Russian fighter jet shot down an unmanned Georgian spy plane last month, prompting the EU to call on Moscow and Tbilisi to "explain themselves."

The report, posted on the UN website, said evidence gathered by UN monitors "leads to the conclusion that the aircraft belonged to the Russian air force" and that the downing was "fundamentally inconsistent" with ceasefire accords.

Russia's defence ministry rejected the findings, with spokesman Alexander Drobyshevsky telling AFP: "We deny this report. Our planes did not violate anyone's airspace and therefore could not have fired a shot."

The incident is one of the most serious in the volatile region since the end of a military conflict in 1993 between Georgian troops and Moscow-backed separatist rebels in the Georgian breakaway province of Abkhazia.

The European Union's Slovenian presidency said the UN report was "balanced" because it criticised Russia as well as Georgia for deploying the spy plane in the area in violation of a ceasefire agreement.

"It's a balanced report," Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel told reporters in Brussels after chairing a meeting of his EU counterparts.

"We think that those who have been found responsible should explain themselves," Rupel said.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said the report vindicated Tbilisi's claims that the Russian military has been violating its sovereignty.

"Georgia today is in a very difficult situation because foreign armed forces have entered its territory," he said in televised remarks.

"The UN has released a report in which Russia is directly accused of aggression against Georgia.... For the first time, the UN has directly, unequivocally pointed the finger at Russia."

Russia, which backs the Abkhaz rebels in the lush Black Sea province, has denied violating Georgian airspace and says that Abkhaz forces shot down the Georgian drone on April 20 -- a claim supported by Abkhaz officials.

But the report, obtained by AFP ahead of its release by the UN, stated that a MiG-29 or Su-27 warplane was used in the incident and that the aircraft then "turned back north heading... into Russian airspace."

The text was highly critical of the drone shooting, saying it violated a ceasefire agreement between Georgian forces and Abkhaz rebels -- and called into question the separation of Russian peacekeepers from the conflict.

The UN mission "considers that enforcement action by third parties -- in this case the Russian Federation -- is fundamentally inconsistent with the Moscow agreement and, aside from possible considerations under international law, undercuts the ceasefire and separation of forces regime," the report said.

The report also indicated that the incident may have posed a threat to civilian aircraft.

"The interception took place very close to, or even inside, an international airway at a time (when) civilian aircraft were flying," it said.

Analysts said the report could give a major boost to Georgian efforts to replace Russian peacekeepers in Abkhazia, whom Tbilisi accuses of siding with the rebels, with an international force.

"This is going to have a huge impact," said Tornike Sharashenidze, a Tbilisi-based analyst.

"Now Georgia has a report from a neutral body on the Russian militarisation of Abkhazia. Georgia will be able to count on much stronger support, not only from America, but from Europe," he said.

The text said its conclusions were based on analysis of witness statements, radar records and video taken by the Georgian drone that filmed itself under attack at close range by a warplane.

The drone footage had not been doctored in any way, the UN report said.

Tense relations between Russia and Georgia, whose pro-Western leadership is pushing for entry into NATO, have flared up repeatedly over the last month in Abkhazia.

Georgian officials warned that the two countries had come close to war and Russia announced it was sending reinforcements to a Russian troop contingent deployed in Abkhazia as peacekeepers.

But Russian President Dmitry Medvedev appeared to strike a more conciliatory tone on Monday in a message to Saakashvili congratulating him on Georgia's independence day.

Medvedev said he hoped for "constructive" cooperation with Georgia, promoting "good neighbourly relations" and "fostering stability and security in the Caucasus," the Kremlin said in a statement.

Community
Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
UAV News - Suppliers and Technology



Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


Northrop Grumman Showcases UAV Capabilities At Berlin ILA Air Show 2008
London UK (SPX) May 22, 2008
Northrop Grumman will display a wide range of its key capabilities and programmes at the Berlin International Aerospace Exhibition, including unmanned aerial vehicles, aerial tanker refueling and aircraft navigation systems.







  • NATO needs to work with, not against Russia: Moscow
  • US ambassador urges Japan to boost defence spending
  • Outside View: Russia at war -- Part 2
  • Walker's World: Building with BRICs

  • Israel has '150 or more' nuclear weapons: Carter
  • US finds scant progress in IAEA report on Iran: envoy
  • Iran still needs to explain weapons studies: IAEA
  • NKorea may hand over nuclear declaration this week: report

  • Iran mulls strengthening missile programme: report
  • India tests ballistic missile: official
  • Outside View: S-400 missile system delays
  • LaBarge Awarded Contract For Upgraded Missile Launch System

  • US seeking to overcome China, Russia missile defense objections
  • White House sees Russia 'open' to talks on US missile plan
  • Medvedev warns over US missile defence plans
  • Russian ABM Plans Part Two

  • China's new jumbo-jet firm no threat to Airbus, Boeing: state media
  • China unveils new jumbo jet company: report
  • NASA And JAXA To Conduct Joint Research On Sonic Boom Modeling
  • Analysis: Can airplanes go green?

  • AAI Shadow UAS Reaches 300000 Flight Hours
  • UN concludes Russia shot down Georgian spy plane
  • Northrop Grumman Showcases UAV Capabilities At Berlin ILA Air Show 2008
  • Boeing Flies A160T Hummingbird Unmanned Rotorcraft For 18 Hours

  • Analysis: Petraeus upbeat on Iraq
  • Bulgaria to move Iraq contingent to Baghdad
  • Petraeus may urge troop cutbacks in September
  • Bush: early Iraq withdrawal would be 'catastrophic'

  • BAE Wins Counter-IED Operations Support Contract
  • British Bulldog Helps Protect The Protectors
  • X-48B Blended Wing Body Flight Tests Enter 2nd Phase
  • iRobot Receives Orders For 200 More Infantry Robots

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement