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Artemyev assigned asylum seeker status in Georgia2009-07-06 17:36
Dmitry Artemyev, a private of the Russian Army who fled the military unit in South Ossetia to come to Georgia on July 2 has been granted asylum seeker status.gt-en-newsitem-inside
It was stated by Georgia's Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Nalbandov at a briefing, RIA Novosti reports.
"Artemyev has been granted asylum seeker status, not refugee status. Within three or four months the Ministry of Refugees and Resettlement must take a final decision on assigning the status above", - Nalbandov said.
He emphasized Georgia acts in compliance with all international norms for such cases. According to him Artemyev has already met with Swiss Embassy officers representing Russia's and Georgia's interests.
"The main thing is to protect the soldier's rights adequately, Georgia and international organizations have already done that", - Nalbandov specified.
It will be remembered on July 2 private Artemyev left the military unit of North Caucasus Military District stationed in Perevi locality (Java district, South Ossetia). The soldier crossed the Georgian-South Ossetian border and addressed the authorities of Georgia claiming refugee status.
According to the committee of inquiry at the Prosecutor's office of the Russian Federation Artemyev took a Kalashnikov gun and 180 cartridges. A criminal case under art. 338, part 2 and art. 226, part 1 of Russia's Criminal Code (armed desertion and stealing of arms) has been initiated against the soldier. Maximum penalty is 6 and 7 years of imprisonment accordingly.
A source in the NCMD earlier informed RIA Novosti the main reason of the soldier's flight to Georgia were tense relations with his fellow soldiers.