External Content

The following content is sourced from external partners. We cannot guarantee that it is suitable for the visually or hearing impaired.

TBILISI (Reuters) - Georgia said Wednesday Russian forces had detained five Georgian citizens off the Black Sea coast near the breakaway Russian-backed region of Abkhazia, and accused Moscow of trying to escalate tensions.
There have been a number of brief detentions of Georgians in recent weeks, mainly in rebel South Ossetia -- the focus of last year's five-day war between Georgia and Russia.
South Ossetian authorities are holding four Georgian teenagers arrested last week in the breakaway capital Tskhinvali and accused of carrying grenades and other explosive material.
The Georgian foreign ministry said Russian forces had "kidnapped" five Georgian citizens Tuesday in Georgian territorial waters for illegal fishing. It said the incident happened in Anaklia, near the de facto border with Abkhazia.
"The Kremlin employs such methods in order to escalate the situation in the territories adjacent to Georgia's occupied regions and provide all preconditions to push the conflict into a 'hot' stage," the foreign ministry said.
There was no immediate response from Russian authorities.
Officials of Russia, Georgia and the two breakaway regions were meeting in Geneva Wednesday for their latest round of internationally-mediated security discussions
Some 21 Georgian villagers were detained in South Ossetia last month and accused of illegally crossing the border to search for wood. They were all released. The poorly-defined boundary line runs through agricultural land.
Tensions in the Black Sea ran high earlier this year when Georgia seized several cargo vessels accused of trading with Abkhazia without permission of Georgian authorities.
Russian forces have controlled the de facto borders of Abkhazia and South Ossetia since August last year, when Moscow crushed a Georgian assault on South Ossetia and subsequently recognized both territories as independent states.
Russian coastguard ships patrol the waters off Abkhazia.
(Reporting and writing by Matt Robinson; Editing by Dominic Evans)

Reuters