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Russia: Georgia Denies Shipping Arms To Chechnya

Tbilisi, 24 November 1999 (RFE/RL) - Georgia reacted indignantly today to Russian claims that a shipment of Georgian weapons seized in Moscow was bound for Chechen rebels. Georgia says the weapons were from their country's stand at an international arms exhbition last month in Romania. They say they were mistakenly sent to Moscow instead of Georgia. Russian officials seized the mortars, grenade launchers and ammunition yesterday at Sheremetyevo Airport. The Georgian Foreign Affairs Ministry said the accusation was another attempt by Russians to whip up anti-Georgian "hysteria" and connect Georgia to the Chechen rebels.

Earlier this month Russia impounded 3,000 American army uniforms being shipped for Georgia's military. Russian customs suspected they were destined for Chechen fighters.