Chechen Terrorist Threat
to Russia from Georgian Territory
(RIA Novosti) – The threat of acts of terrorism still persists
from Georgian territory, challenging the security of both Russia
and Georgia, says the Novosti-Georgia news agency with reference
to a statement circulated Monday by the Russian embassy in Tbilisi.
problem can be settled only by taking effective measures to counter
terrorism and to promote the coordination of the secret services
and frontier guards of the two countries rather than to play down
the existence of this grave problem and to pin hopes mainly on
international monitoring that has already displayed its inefficiency
and exhausted its capacity," says the document.
notes that quite a number of Russian official statements concerning
the presence of Chechen gunmen and terrorists in the Pankisi gorge
have been recently made to attract the attention of the Georgian
leadership, special services and public to this problem. Moreover,
the location of such persons and their approximate strength-250-300
gunmen, including foreign terrorists, have been identified.
instead of taking adequate moves, the Georgian side has issued
assurances that the Pankisi gorge is free of terrorists, claiming
that the absence of gunmen is confirmed by trips to this area
by Russian and other foreign visitors. There is substantiated
evidence however that on being notified about such visits beforehand,
gunmen used to scatter and, on the completion of such visits,
to return to the their accommodation in the gorge," says
the statement of the Russian embassy in Georgia.
side has repeatedly raised the question that the Pankisi gorge
being close to the Chechen strip of the Russian-Georgian border
serves as a refuge to Chechen separatists and radicals. The latter
are harbored in the Georgian region, inhabited by ethnic Chechens,
among forced Chechen immigrants. There is evidence that the Pankisi
gorge is also a channel for foreign aid to separatists