01 December 2009, 23:00

Russian delegation stopped from entering Georgia

Today, at the Tbilisi airport, a group of Russian experts was not allowed to cross the state border. Having spent half an hour in Georgia, they took a return flight and came back to Moscow via Yerevan.

The "Caucasian Knot" earlier reported that in September Russian journalists were not admitted to Georgia: journalist of Channel One Maxim Shevchenko and editor of "Izvestia" Vladimir Mamontov. The Georgian frontier guards then explained their actions by following the law on legal status of foreigners in Georgia.

This time, the delegation comprised Vladimir Barannikov, deputy director of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations; Alexander Miller, leading scientific worker of the Institute of Scientific Information on Social Studies; Sergey Mironenko, director of the Archive of the Russian Federation; Artyom Malgin, adviser of the Rector of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MSIIR); and Nikolai Silaev, an expert of the Centre for Caucasus Studies.

The Russians came to Georgia on the initiative of the Centre for Caucasus Studies of the MSIIR. During the visit that was planned for December 1-3, they were to meet their Georgian colleagues and discuss the cooperation prospects and interstate mutual relations, the "Interfax" reports.

The "GHN" reports that Gogi Khutsishvili, a representative of the Club of Experts, could not say anything about the reasons why Russian experts were rejected to enter Georgia.

Meanwhile, on November 30, Giya Tortladze, leader of the parliamentary faction "Strong Georgia", spoke against the visit of the Russian delegation to Georgia.

According to his data, the members of the delegation are "high-ranking officials of state security" and "members of Putin's and Medvedev's closest retinue." Mr Tortladze also said that the members of the Russian delegation were no experts, and "the Georgian scientists were to meet the people who repeat all the time that Georgia had attacked sleeping Tskhinvali," the "Georgia Online" reports.

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