Moscow calls Tbilisi to protect Russian offices from public outrages

Russia insistently calls Georgian authorities to protect its offices and their staff against public outrages, Igor Malakhov, deputy spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says in a statement circulated today.

A rabid anti-Russian campaign instigated from the top in the Georgian media is gaining momentum to trigger off hooligan attacks at Russian offices in Tbilisi and their personnel, says the statement.

Hoodlums assaulted the Russian Embassy a few days ago. The building and its fence, both under redecoration, were smeared with indelible ink, and a greater part of expensive porous slab facing will have to be changed.

Several employees of the Mossib, a Russian-based construction company engaged in embassy repairs, were robbed and badly battered in a posh Tbilisi neighbourhood. One man was put to hospital.

In a regrettable paradox, the Georgian top is tolerant toward Chechen militants and international terrorists while a blind eye is turned to crimes against law-abiding Russians.

Moscow insists on the outrages urgently investigated, culprits punished, and damages paid, said Mr. Malakhov.

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