Deputy interior minister on Russia’s claims on use of Georgia to transport explosives: “no suspicious facts observed”

Georgian deputy interior minister Aleksandre Darakhvelidze on Wednesday responded to Russia’s claims on the use of the Georgian territory to transport explosives for the Crimea bridge blast. Photo: rustavi 2, 12 Oct 2022 - 18:27, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian deputy interior minister Aleksandre Darakhvelidze on Wednesday said “no suspicious facts” had been observed at the country’s checkpoints, in comments on recent allegations by the Kremlin that alleged explosives used in the massive blast that damaged Russia’s bridge to the occupied Crimea on Saturday had been delivered through the territory of Georgia and several other countries. 

Transit and non-transit cargoes undergo strict customs control in Georgia, and no suspicious facts have been detected. Georgia has nothing to do with the mentioned issue”, said the official. 

In response to the claims, Georgian deputy finance minister Giorgi Kakauridze on Wednesday said the allegations were “unfounded”, noting that if Russia presented “any evidence”, Tbilisi would look into the case. 

The Russian federal security service on Wednesday said it had arrested five citizens of Russia and three Ukrainian and Armenian nationals as part of its investigation into what president Vladimir Putin has labelled a “terrorist attack”. The service claimed accomplices to the act - including two Georgian citizens - had also been identified.

After accusing the Ukrainian intelligence service of organising the attack, the Russian state agency claimed 22,770 kg of explosives had been sent from Ukraine’s Odesa port to Bulgaria in August, with the cargo later transported through the territories of Georgia and Armenia before reaching its final destination. 

The body claimed Georgian citizen Sandro Inosaridze and a broker only named through his first name Levan had facilitated the transportation along with Ukrainian, Russian and Armenian citizens. 

It also said between September 29-October 3, the cargo had cleared a Yerevan terminal in Armenia, with related documents changed by organisers before the material left for Russia on October 4 from the Zemo Larsi checkpoint of Georgia.