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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Delegation Dismisses Plane Claim

ReutersA Russian expert and Georgian specialist exploring the site where the missile was found in the village of Shavshvehi.
TBILISI, Georgia -- A visiting delegation of Russian defense experts said Georgian officials had provided them with no convincing proof to support their assertions that a Russian plane entered the country's airspace and dropped a missile.

A senior Russian official, meanwhile, said Friday that a report by a team of international investigators that backed the overflight claims was politicized, and the head of the Air Force Main Staff suggested Georgia had planted the missile debris.

Georgia says a plane coming from Russia entered the country's airspace and dropped a missile on Aug. 6. The missile did not explode and no casualties were reported, but the incident escalated tensions between Georgia and Russia.

Russia on Thursday blocked a U.S. attempt to have the United Nations Security Council issue a statement on the incident.

The Russian experts, speaking in Tbilisi, said their two-day investigation had not confirmed any violations of Georgian airspace by Russian aircraft.

"We asked the Georgian side to show us the radar ... or at least to inform us about its characteristics, but we were refused," Lieutenant General Igor Khvorov said at a news conference.

"The statement of international experts arouses bewilderment. It looks as if the statement was made not by experts, but by politicians. It is clear that they were only using the information from one side," Russian special envoy Valery Kenyaikin said earlier.

Georgia's deputy defense minister, Batu Kutelia, in turn, said "The Russian side has not shown constructiveness and practically evaded cooperation with the investigation."

In a two-page report, the eight international military experts did not identify the aircraft but agreed with Georgian conclusions that the missile was a Russian-made, anti-radar Raduga Kh-58.