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Russian MFA on Photojournalists' Arrest in Georgia
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 8 Jul.'11 / 01:46

The Georgian authorities are trying to fit everything to the context of espionage, Alexander Lukashevich, the Russian foreign ministry's spokesman, said on July 7.

"We are commenting about 'Georgian' stories at almost every news briefing," Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lukashevich said at a news conference in Moscow, when asked to comment arrest of photojournalists in Georgia on spying charges.

"It is not a surprise for us, that the Georgian authorities are 'labeling' and trying to portray an issue as if it is about 'planted spies', they want to fit everything to the context of espionage. That once again points to the level of 'democracy' in Georgia, which recently is being criticized, not seldom, by specialized agencies of the UN and by the Council of Europe," Lukashevich said.

The Georgian Interior Ministry said in a brief statement that four photographers, including one working for President Saakashvili's press office, were arrested for providing “in detriment of Georgia’s interests various information through their professional activities to an organization” working for “one of the foreign country’s special services.” Although "the foreign country" was not specified there is little doubt that a country other than Russia is meant.

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