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    Russian diplomats seek meeting with arrested officers in Georgia

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    TBILISI, February 9 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Embassy in Georgia demanded an immediate meeting Thursday with three Russian officers arrested in Tbilisi Wednesday over an alleged lack of visas. "We demand an immediate meeting with the Russian officers and their return to Russia," the embassy said.

    The embassy accused Georgian authorities of stalling proceedings in the matter and expressed concerns over the physical and moral condition of the compatriots.

    The Russian officers were arrested when they arrived in Georgia to investigate a road accident that happened February 1 and involved a convoy of Russian peacekeepers and a car owned by a Georgian driver. Hundreds of armed Georgian policemen and soldiers confiscated the Russian truck until compensation had been paid.

    Tbilisi said the officers were arrested because they did not have Georgian visas. When the situation was settled and Georgia agreed to issue visas, it turned out that the officers did not have passports.

    Russian troops are stationed in the zone of the conflict between Georgia and South Ossetia, which erupted in the early 1990s, as part of the Joint Collective Peacekeeping Forces.

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