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Georgian Press on Motives Behind Air Strike
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 8 Aug.'07 / 14:00

It remains unclear what was the motive behind the air attack on Georgian territory on August 6, the Georgian daily, 24 Saati, wrote on Wednesday.

In a front page article under the headline “Attack without Motive” it pointed out that large-scale Russian army maneuvers were underway in Russia’s North Ossetian Republic.

“Was this attack part of these maneuvers or were there other motives? Only those behind the incident can answer this question,” the newspaper said.

It also said that the international community had failed to react appropriately to the March 11 air attack on the Tbilisi-controlled upper Kodori Gorge because of the inconclusive nature of the investigation.

“Evidence, as well as Russia’s influence on the international stage, will determine what kind of conclusions are drawn by the international community about this incident.”

Another Georgian daily, the Rezonansi, alleged that the sabotage of a possible meeting between the Russian and Georgian presidents, Vladimir Putin and Mikheil Saakashvili, respectively, may have been the motive behind the August 6 incident.

Both Russian and Georgian officials confirmed last month that consultations were underway to organize a meeting sometime in August.

There has been speculation that Georgia’s air defense radar located near the scene in the village of Shavshvebi could have been the target of the strike. Marat Kulakhmetov, the Russian commander of the Joint Peacekeeping Forces in the South Ossetian conflict zone, however, dismissed this, saying that an attack aircraft would have hit the radar station without any problem if it had been the target. He also said that the rocket hadn't exploded because those behind the incident hadn't wanted it to.

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