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Russia has questioned Georgian intentions to raise the issue of Moscow's
Russia has questioned Georgian intentions to raise the issue of Moscow's possible involvement in the shooting down of a reconnaissance drone over Abkhazia in April at the OSCE, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

It said on May 28 Georgia's permanent envoy to the OSCE had sent a note to the Russian envoy alleging Moscow's involvement in the shooting down of an unmanned surveillance plane in Abkhaz airspace.

"The April 20 incident is a subject of bilateral relations between the conflicting sides of Georgia and Abkhazia. Therefore, the issue should be discussed with Sukhumi [the capital of Abkhazia]," the ministry said.

A UN report on Monday said a Georgian drone was shot down by a Russian aircraft over the unrecognized republic on April 20. Moscow, which denies the allegation, dismissed the report as based on unreliable evidence.

The UN also criticized Georgia for carrying out reconnaissance flights over Abkhazia in breach of the terms of a ceasefire deal that ended Georgian-Abkhazian hostilities in the early 1990s.

Abkhazia claims it has downed seven Georgian drones this year.

The breakaway Georgian republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia have remained a source of tensions between Moscow and Tbilisi. Tensions have also been fueled by Georgian plans to join NATO. Georgia is located on key strategic routes for Caspian oil and gas supplies.


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