Spokeswoman Tea Gadabadze of the Georgian Air Navigation Service told RFE/RL that that Georgian air-traffic controllers were in contact with the airliner. She said they had told the Armenian crew that the weather was unfavorable for a landing in Sochi, and the Armenians then decided to go back.
But 20 minutes later, the Armenian crew told the Georgians they were "getting different information" from Russian air-traffic controllers in Rostov.
The plane later crashed. There has been no Russian reaction to the Georgian assertions.
Armenia and Russia have declared May 5 a day of mourning.