Vyacheslav Tikhomirov, the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Interior Ministry troops, forecasts aggravation of the situation in Chechnya in spring and summer.
On Saturday in reply to questions of journalists at the official ceremony devoted to the Day of Interior troops Gen. Tikhomirov stated that presently the situation in the Chechen republic was tense and that an outburst of unlawful activities was expected in spring, and the "mine war" would still be waged.
At the same time the commander-in-chief indicated that in recent years the troops managed to significantly reduce their losses in Chechnya.
Gen. Tikhomorov stressed that "improved skills of officers and privates, quality of new equipment and armaments, professional training level - those component parts make it possible for us to adequately achieve tasks set." According to him, the strength of the Interior Troops group in Chechnya would soon be reduced. The general explained that he was not talking about full-scale reduction, simply certain units engaged in provision of security in the course of the election campaigns of 2003-2004 would be withdrawn from the republic.
Gen. Tikhomirov congratulated servicemen of the Interior Troops on their professional holiday and reported that he received a message of greetings from the Russian President who gave a high assessment to troops' operations.
The general also reported that in future the Interior Troops would be transformed into the national or federal guard units to perform the same functions.