Russian plane illegally enters Georgian airspace

Russian AN2-type plane flew from Abkhazian territory and entered the airspace above the Khurcha village., 10 Apr 2014 - 15:02, Tbilisi,Georgia

A Russian plane has illegally entered Georgia’s airspace today. 

Georgia’s airspace was violated this morning when a Russian plane crossed the Georgian border and illegally entered Georgian controlled airspace.

A Ministry of Internal Affairs official confirmed a Russian AN-2-type plane flew from Abkhazian territory and entered the airspace above the Khurcha village, in Georgia’s Samegrelo region. The plane flew back 10 minutes later.

An AN-2 plane is a Soviet mass-produced single-engine biplane and is used as a light utility transport, parachute drop, agricultural work and many other tasks suited to large slow-flying biplanes.

Locals presumed the plane took photos of Khurcha. 

The incident took place shortly before Public Defender Ucha Nanuashvili visited the area and met with the local population to discuss issues facing their community. The Public Defender also visited the so-called Abkhazia border line.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs Analytical Department director Gocha Ratiani confirmed a Russian plane flew over Georgian territory after entering from the breakaway region of Abkhazia.

He said the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) was involved in investigating the incident. 

"We have activated a hotline and we are studying the incident along with the European Union Monitoring Mission. Let's see what kind of response we will get,” Ratiani said.

"We will check our information and then we will express our protest at all levels, including on an international level,” he said.

Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also commented on the recent violation of Georgian airspace.

"We definitely will investigate this and the reason behind this incident. All international organisations, including all Geneva Talks participant delegations will be informed about this,” First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Davit Zalkaniani said.

Last month on two occasions, Russian helicopters flew illegally into Georgian airspace in an attempt to provoke the country.

On March 7, Russian military helicopters entered Georgian airspace at 12.20pm and 6.22pm and flew over important Government buildings located in Gori and Kaspi districts.