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    Georgia denies reports of new spy drone flights

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    Georgia's Interior Ministry denied on Wednesday Abkhazia's accusations that the country has resumed unmanned reconnaissance flights over the breakaway province.

    TBILISI, June 18 (RIA Novosti) - Georgia's Interior Ministry denied on Wednesday Abkhazia's accusations that the country has resumed unmanned reconnaissance flights over the breakaway province.

    Georgia officially suspended all reconnaissance flights over Abkhazia earlier this month, following criticism from the United Nations.

    "Georgia will only resume flights if there is a necessity prompted by an increased military threat," Shota Utiashvili, chief analyst at the ministry, said.

    However, Abkhaz Defense Minister Merab Kishmariya told RIA Novosti: "Georgian drones still fly over the Kodori gorge, and they sometimes fly over the Gali district, along the security zone border. Georgian drones have never ceased flying over the area [the Kodori gorge]."

    Ruslan Kishmariya, Abkhaz presidential envoy to the Gali district, confirmed that Georgian drones have continued to violate the province's airspace. He said two planes were seen over the district, controlled by Russian peacekeepers, a week ago.

    An unmanned Georgian surveillance drone was shot down over Abkhazia on April 20. Georgia claimed the plane was downed by the Russian Air Force, calling it an act of aggression, while Russia denied involvement.

    Abkhaz President Sergei Bagapsh has accused Georgia of breaching a ceasefire deal that ended Georgian-Abkhazian hostilities in 1994.

    A UN report said in early June that a Georgian drone was shot down by a Russian aircraft over the unrecognized republic on April 20. Moscow, which denies the allegation, dismissed the report as based on unreliable evidence.

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