Russian Air Force invites Georgia to cooperate on missile incident

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The Russian Air Force is prepared to cooperate with Georgia in investigating the alleged violation of its airspace, Russia's Air Force commander said Saturday.
MONINO (Moscow Region), August 11 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Air Force is prepared to cooperate with Georgia in investigating the alleged violation of its airspace, Russia's Air Force commander said Saturday.

On Tuesday, Georgia accused Russia of firing a missile the day before on a village 65 kilometers (about 40 miles) northwest of the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, and near the border with its breakaway region of South Ossetia. The 640-kilogram (1,400-pound) missile did not explode, but has fueled tensions between the former Soviet allies.

"We will work within the framework of existing agreements," Colonel General Alexander Zelenin said.

He added that if Georgia asks, Russia is prepared to provide all airspace control data.

Russia, which Tbilisi has accused of backing South Ossetian and Abkhazian separatists, has denied involvement in the incident and demanded a thorough probe, saying it was "a new provocation" staged by Tbilisi to destabilize the region.

South Ossetia has echoed the accusations, saying the aircraft came from the Georgian side.

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