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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Georgia Demands Apology Over Plane

APSergei Lavrov speaking to Anders Fogh Rasmussen outside Copenhagen.
TBILISI, Georgia -- Georgia's Foreign Ministry demanded Tuesday that Russia apologize after a UN report said a Russian Air Force jet had shot down a Georgian spy plane last month, but Moscow said it did not trust the report's conclusions.

"Georgia protests and demands from Russia an apology and compensation for the cost of the drone," Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze told reporters after Russia's envoy was summoned to his ministry.

Russia denies any involvement in shooting down the unmanned aircraft, which was brought down on April 20 over Abkhazia, a Moscow-backed separatist region of Georgia.

Georgia's pro-Western leaders, who have angered Russia by seeking to join NATO, have described the incident as an act of aggression.

Russia's ambassador in Tbilisi, Vyacheslav Kovalenko, was summoned to the Georgian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday and handed a note of protest over the incident.

In Moscow, the Foreign Ministry said it had no issue with the UN team that compiled the report, but it believed that the information on which the report was based was "tendentious and not objective."

"Overall, the quality of these investigations does not inspire confidence," the ministry said in a statement.

The UN report, released Monday, said video footage from the downed aircraft show a fighter jet with a twin-finned tail firing a missile in the direction of the plane, and a few seconds later the screen goes blank. Russian MiG-29s and Su-27s have such tails, while Abkhazia is not known to possess either of those planes.

The UN report also said Georgia was violating a cease-fire agreement by flying reconnaissance flights over Abkhazia.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday urged Georgia to hand over the video recording, saying Russia would not be able to give a "definite response" to whether the jet was Russian until it viewed the tape.

Lavrov -- in Copenhagen, where he had talks with Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen -- also said the plane incident was just the latest in a long line of "provocations" by Georgia's leaders and he restated Russia's opposition to Tbilisi joining NATO.

"Russia has complied fully and continues to comply with what we have agreed with the Georgian side," Lavrov said, speaking through an interpreter.

"But for their part, Georgia fails to live up to its obligations under the agreements that have been reached," he said.

"We hope that countries that have influence on Georgia will put that influence into effect so that Georgia lives up to its commitments ... rather than continue provoking Georgia and prompting it to gain admission into NATO in the hope that this will somehow solve all the problems that Georgia has."

Reuters, AP