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Drone plane was allowed to fly away2008-12-22 12:05
A scout aircraft was spotted at the height of 2.500 m yesterday around 6 a.m. "A pilotless drone entered the territory of South Ossetia from the South (from Gori town) and was heading north, to Java village, - Deputy Defense Minister of the republic Ibrahim Gasseev stated. - In case similar incidents persist we'll be forced to shoot these aircrafts down".
Official Tbilisi denies its involvement in the incident. As the head of Georgia's Interior Ministry administration Shota Khizanishvili stated "Georgian planes do not fly over this territory".
Such explanations are not a novelty. Georgia renounced its spy planes even when they were brought down and there was no doubt about their ownership. It will be remembered that the first episode with a pilotless drone occurred in the Abkhazian sky at the end of April. By the start of the August events the number of downed planes was 7.
Tbilisi recognized the loss of only one of them that came second in the list. Throughout August other five drones were shot down. The experts say that according to the preliminary information Tbilisi's total loss of pilotless drones is almost a third of its reserve. Forty machines were bought in Israel in early 2008.
It is exactly there and in connection with the pilotless drones that the conflict of interests flared up and Russia turned out to be involved in it. The matter is that in early December it was reported Russia did not mind buying Israeli machines made by Elbit System that had shipped them to Georgia before.
High politics immediately broke in the potential contract. Israel's Foreign Office displayed interest and supported the transaction realization. It is believed that such a contract can contribute to reinforcement of relations between two countries. Meanwhile Israel's Defense Ministry is against the deal. It apprehends that Russia might discover secret technologies and pass them over to countries unfriendly to Israel. To Iran, in the first place.
"Israel is concerned that any our military technologies might be passed by Russia to Iran for instance through Syria, - a representative of the military authority stated to "Kommersant".
These fears seem exaggerated. Israeli drones are hardly a big technological secret to Moscow. War specialists had a good opportunity to examine their design on 12 downed samples.
So Israel is unlikely to agree to the transaction. Both for political reasons and to avoid losses. According to the reports of numerous media agencies as early as in August Elbit Systems stopped shipping drones to Georgia.