Russia was granted consular access to its citizens held in Georgia over espionage charges, a source from the Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed, according to the Interfax news agency.
According to the report, Russian consular officers were able to meet with the four Russian citizens on Tuesday evening.
According to the Georgian Interior Ministry, four Russian citizens are: Armen Gevorkian and Ruben Shikoian – both were top executives of the Batumi branch of Saybolt Core Laboratories Company; Petre Devrishidze, a businessman from Kobuleti, Adjara Autonomous Republic and Yuri Skrilnikov, described by the Interior Ministry as a liaison officer of the Russian military service.
Unlike other three – who were arrested in October - Skrilnikov was arrested in May, 2010. In mid-October that court in Batumi found him guilty of currency forgery and sentenced him on October 7 to 18 years in prison. At the time the Russian Foreign Ministry condemned the verdict as "yet another provocation against the Russian citizen" who in the past served in now already closed down Russian military base in Batumi.