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Reports: Police Track Down Georgians in Moscow
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 6 Oct.'06 / 13:58

Russian authorities launched a campaign to track down illegal Georgian migrants by identifying pupils with Georgian surnames in Moscow schools, the Russian daily Kommersant reported on October 6, quoting an unnamed law enforcement agency official.

According to the law, students have the right to study in the Russian capital’s schools without being registered as residents of Moscow, “so it is easer to track-down parents through their children,” the Kommersant said.

But Russian Interior Ministry spokesman Valery Gribakin denied the report.

“The Ministry of Internal Affairs has issued no instruction or request towards the educational institutions of this kind,” he told RIA Novosti news agency.

Meanwhile, Russian news agencies reported on October 6 that the police in Moscow continue probing into restaurants, cafés and casinos owned by native Georgians. At least two restaurants and three casinos have reportedly been closed down in Moscow for alleged tax evasion.

“One can not say that we are deliberately probing into facilities that are owned by Georgian citizens; but most of the facilities that are set to be probed, are actually owned by Georgian citizens,” Philip Zolotnitsky, Moscow police department spokesman, told RIA Novosti.

In an interview with Reuters on October 5, President Saakashvili said that signs of xenophobia in Russia are alarming.

Meanwhile, Georgian media sources reported that a plane with about 100 Georgian “illegal migrants” who have been deported from Russia onboard will land at the Tbilisi Airport on October 6.

Also on October 6, a plane from the Russian Emergency Ministry is scheduled to take off from Tbilisi for Moscow with over 100 Russian citizens who have expressed a willingness to depart from Georgia after a new standoff sparked between the two countries, Russian NTV television reported, quoting an official from the Russian Embassy in Tbilisi.

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