In his interview to RIA Novosti governor of the Kemerovo region Aman Tuleyev opined that in case Georgia refused to extradite to Russia the Chechen militants detained at the Russian-Georgian border economic sanctions should be applied against this country. The governor stated that "many people thought that it was time to apply such instrument as economic sanctions." He reminded those present that "Georgia received gas and electricity from Russia, the prices being ridiculously low." At the same time Tuleyev urged "to remember that the Shevardnadze regime could not be identified with the Georgian people with which we would forever live together."
The Kemerovo governor considered "terrorist bandit formations which felt themselves at home in the Pankisi Gorge" as the cause of another outburst of tension in the Georgian-Russian relations. Aman Tuleyev accused Georgian authorities of "being not able to exercise control over the situation in the republic." At the same time he did not exclude that "the Georgian powers had certain joint interests with militants."
Tuleyev said in his time Eduard Shevardnadze "used to characterize out-and-out cut-throat Gelayev as a law-abiding citizen." The governor stressed that "earlier Shevardnadze denied existence of militants in the Pankisi Gorge and presently he accused Russia of existence of militants in the Pankisi Gorge." According to him, "such pirouettes were made not because of good life but because the authorities in Georgia got mixed up and did not know what to do." According to Aman Tuleyev, in order to resolve the situation they should unconditionally extradite arrested militants to Russian authorities. The governor stressed that "true intentions of the Georgian side might be judged by how quickly the militants found themselves in the Lefortovo prison." At the same time Aman Tuleyev opined that "in any case the problem should be resolved through political means and within the framework of diplomatic procedures, within the framework of the international law."
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