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Last updated: 10:55 - 1 May.'18
Shots Heard Close to Polish, Georgian Leaders’ Convoy
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 23 Nov.'08 / 22:27

Shots were fired when a motorcade carrying Georgian and Polish Presidents approached a Russian checkpoint at the Akhalgori section of the South Ossetian administrative border, the Georgian television stations reported on Sunday evening.

Speaking at a news conference in Tbilisi Polish President, Lech Kaczynski said that he was not aware whether shots were “fired into the air or where.”

A Polish journalist asked President Saakashvili at the news conference how did it happen that the Georgian journalists were on the scene beforehand and whether the incident was staged.

President Saakashvili responded that there were no Georgian journalists on the scene and the only cameraman on the scene was from his staff, who always accompanies him. He also said he would have never endangered the Polish President’s life.

The Georgian television stations aired a footage, which was shot from inside a car, which apparently was in the convoy. Although shots were heard in the footage, the television pictures were inconclusive and it was not possible to define from the video what exactly has happened.     

President Kaczynski said in a response to the Polish journalist’s question: “Some may say now that it was staged by the Georgians, but that would be very unserious to say that, such an approach would be very unserious.”

"I appeal from here to my friends in the European Union and also to my friends in the United States and ask them to make proper conclusions from this incident before it is not too late,” Kaczynski said and added that Russia was not fulfilling its ceasefire commitments.

President Saakashvili also said that the incident was a clear reminder of Russia’s continuing occupation of the Georgian territories.

He said that the incident should be a reminder for those politicians in Europe, who, he said, thought Russia was more or less implementing its ceasefire commitments.

The Georgian officials said that the two presidents turned in direction of Akhalgori, while they were traveling from Tbilisi to the village of Metekhi in the Kaspi district to visit a settlement of those persons who have been displaced from South Ossetia.

The Georgian senior officials have immediately described the incident as “an attack” on the Georgian and Polish Presidents.

“The fire was opened in direction of the Presidents,” Davit Bakradze, the parliamentary chairperson, told Georgian journalists. “This attack should be a warning sign for those states, which still have some illusions about the Russia’s regime.”

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