August 13, 2008

Russian Military Have Not Hit Oil Pipelines – General Staff

MOSCOW. Aug 12 (Interfax) - Russia's General Staff denied Georgian claims that Russian aircraft had bombed the Baku-Tbilisi- Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline.

"I can say with full responsibility that pipelines were never among our targets," Col-General Anatoly Nogovitsyn, the General Staff's deputy chief, told a press conference.

Russia is fully aware of the catastrophic consequences that bombing a pipeline could have, "and therefore we never struck them," Novogitsyn said.

"This is not the target against which it was necessary to carry out the bombing," he said.

Tbilisi is saying the pipeline was hit "primarily in the hope of getting a response from Turkey, which wants energy supply, and in a bid to drag other states into the conflict," he said.

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