Russian diplomat meets nationals detained in Georgia on espionage charges

A Russian diplomat has met with one of the Russian nationals detained in Georgia on espionage charges, a Georgian Foreign Ministry official said on Monday. Deputy Georgian Foreign Minister Nino Kalandadze told a press briefing that Georgia had allowed a Russian diplomatic official to meet with one of the four Russian nationals now in custody awaiting trials on spying charges.

Russia has reportedly asked Georgia via the Tbilisi-based Swiss embassy to provide information on the detainees. The Swiss embassy represents the Russian interests in Georgia after the two countries had severed their diplomatic ties after the August 2008 conflict.

The deputy foreign minister added that once the ministry had received Russian requests for meetings with other detained Russian nationals, they will be granted.

“These people are being charged with espionage, and in accordance with Georgian law they are to face Georgian justice,” the official said.

On Nov. 5, the Georgian Interior Ministry announced the detention of nine Georgian nationals and four Russian nationals on espionage charges.

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