Russia's influential human rights group "Memorial" has sharply criticized both Georgian and Russian actions in a recent spy spat that has led to a severe crisis in relations between the two countries.
The group criticized Georgian authorities for "losing the sense of reality, balance of power and capabilities" in publicly exposing alleged Russian spies. It demanded that the Georgian authorities release proof backing up the spying charges against four Russian officers to the public.
At the same time, the group stated, Russia's response by "placing collective responsibility on the Georgian people for the actions of their government, which the Russian authorities tend not to like, once again shows the full disdain of the Russian authorities for the principles and norms of law. Bans and limitations against the citizens of a specific ethnicity - Georgians in this case - is nothing but racial discrimination."
Memorial said the current policies in Russia are not only leading to massive human rights violations, but "embed animosity into regional international relations for the years to come."