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No Leverage in Case of Georgian Sailors Captured by Pirates

By Ernest Petrosyan
Tuesday, November 22
"We will do our best to release the Georgian sailors captured by Somali pirates" Deputy Foreign Minister Nino Kalandadze said at the regular Monday briefing yesterday. According to Kalandadze, options are extremely limited in this case, due to the absence of any leverage for negotiations with the pirates.

"It is very difficult and wrong, at the same time, to establish contact with pirates", said the Deputy FM.

She added that the Foreign Ministry has been actively contacting the Greek ship owners, as well as the insurance company which is directly responsible for this situation.

"Last week we had the opportunity to talk to them once again and get additional information, but I’d like to refrain from deepening into the details at this stage. I assure you that we are using all available resources", said Kalandadze. Fifteen Georgian sailors were captured by Somali pirates in September 2010.

At the briefing deputy Foreign Minister Kalandadze also commented on the recently published memoirs of former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in which she allegedly writes that President Saakasvhili allowed himself to be provoked by the Russians in the lead up to the August 2008 war.

"International documents clearly describe the picture before the August 2008 war and explain that Georgia played an insignificant role in the development of events," said Kalandadze. According to her, there are legal documents saying the war was not launched by Georgia.

"All legal and analytical documents say Russia was preparing for a war with Georgia for a long time. Even Ms. Rice's memoirs say that this war was planned long before by the Kremlin and it was carried out by the Kremlin", said the Deputy FM.

Kalandadze also referred to the Georgians recently detained in France saying that the ministry did not have any detailed information. As Kalandadze said, the Georgian embassy in Paris, especially the consular section is actively engaged in obtaining further information.

"We cannot make any preliminary forecast, as we don’t have detailed information," said Nino Kalandadze. According to her, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is waiting for additional information from the embassy today.

The French police detained Georgian, Armenian and Russian citizens on charges of theft and sale of stolen goods.