The command-staff exercises of the Russian interior ministry, which are being held in Karachai-Circassia, (a North-Caucasus republic within the Russian Federation) "are of a planned character", Alexander Papura, interior minister of the Karachai-Circassian republic, said on Wednesday. In his words, they are being held with a view to practising cooperation between the republic's interior ministry and the Circassian border unit, the regional department of the federal security service, interior troops, army units, as well as law-enforcement agencies of the neighboring North-Caucasian republics. It is an open secret, noted the minister, that particular attention is being paid to the areas adjacent to the Russian-Georgian border due to the known events in Abkhazia. The minister refuted the rumors about a terrorist group breaking through the border into Karachai-Circassia. "There have been no cases of individual persons crossing the border, to say nothing of groups," he stressed.