Russia is preparing an answer to an interstate claim brought by Georgia to the Strasbourg Court against Russia's actions in South Ossetia last August, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.
Georgia lodged the appeal on February 6, 2009, accusing Russia of "indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks committed against civilians and their property...during the armed conflict in August" and "subsequent occupation... of the parts of the Georgian territory which amounted to serious and mass violations of human rights."
"The apparatus of Russia's representative in the European Court of Human Rights has begun to prepare written remarks on the indicated claim," Andrei Nesterenko said, adding court hearings would most likely take place.
He said some of the remarks have already been submitted to the Strasbourg court, together with other documents, including criminal cases initiated over felonies committed by Georgian servicemen against South Ossetia's residents in August 2008.
Russia's Deputy Justice Minister Georgy Matyushkin represents the country in the Strasbourg Court.
Moscow recognized the republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia shortly after a five-day war with Georgia in August 2008 that began when Georgian forces attacked South Ossetia in an attempt to bring it back under central control.
The two republics have also been recognized by Nicaragua and Venezuela.
According to South Ossetia's authorities, more than 1,500 people died as a result of Georgia's attack. The Russian General Prosecutor's Office officially confirmed that 162 residents of South Ossetia and 48 Russian servicemen, including 10 peacemakers, had been killed by Georgian troops.
MOSCOW, November 24 (RIA Novosti)