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Two Georgians Sentenced For Espionage Released

Two Georgian citizens serving terms in Russia for espionage have been granted early release.

The Georgian prime minister's special envoy for Russia, Zurab Abashidze, said on February 5 that the two men, whose identities were not revealed, were arrested by Russia after the August 2008 war over Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia and sentenced to eight and nine years in prison.

Abashidze added that the two men have joined their families in Georgia.

According to Abashidze, Tbilisi is currently working on the release of several other Georgian citizens who were arrested in Russia on espionage charges.

Last year, Georgia amnestied and released several convicts sentenced for spying for Russia.

Georgian-Russian relations have been tense since the 2008 war, after which Russia recognized South Ossetia and Georgia's other breakaway region, Abkhazia, as independent states.

Based on reporting by and