Russia dismisses reports Georgia downed its spy plane

September 23rd, 2008 - 7:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Sep 23 (RIA Novosti) The Russian military Tuesday dismissed reports that one of its pilotless planes was shot down by Georgia. Georgian authorities said earlier Tuesday that its military had shot down a Russian reconnaissance drone over Georgian territory to the south of the breakaway region of South Ossetia. They said the drone was shot down Monday morning near the town of Gori.

“No aircraft was recorded as having fallen or been shot down in the security zone,” Lt-Col Vitaly Manushko, head of the temporary press centre of the Russian peacekeeping forces, told RIA Novosti.

Russia and Georgia fought a brief war last month after the Caucasus state’s offensive to retake breakaway South Ossetia. Moscow subsequently recognized the republic along with another separatist region, Abkhazia, as independent states, and Tbilisi severed diplomatic ties with Moscow.

Russian troops continue to hold positions inside undisputed Georgian territory. They are due to withdraw from the security zones adjacent to South Ossetia and Abkhazia by Oct 10 under a pullback deal signed by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy.

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