The Russian Foreign Ministry yesterday announced that the situation around the Russian-Georgian border has become much more heightened over the last few days. Recently, Chechen fighters and international terrorists have been making armed attempts to cross into Russian territory from their bases in the Pankiss gorge in Georgia. 'These events conclusively demonstrate that Tbilisi's policy of pacifying terrorists and attempting to part with them on friendly terms is resulting in a new wave of terror, in deaths, and in a serious destabilisation of the Caucasus and Georgia itself,' declared the Foreign Ministry.
According to officials from the Foreign Ministry, 'the Georgian Government, which has repeatedly announced to the world its readiness to independently restore order in the Pankiss gorge, has again demonstrated its unwillingness to take practical measures to clamp down on terrorism'. Officials added that 'Tbilisi refuses to cooperate with Russia in carrying out antiterrorist operations, and the Georgian Foreign Ministry is clumsily trying to erect a smoke screen around events on the border, accusing Russia of aggressive action against Georgia'.
Ministry officials also say that 'Tbilisi's position is in clear contradiction of Georgia's responsibilities according to the UN Security Council's resolution on terrorism, which sets out the necessary measures that all states must take for the prevention and combating of terrorist activity on their territory'.
The Russian Foreign Ministry wants the Georgian authorities to carry out their responsibilities in line with the resolution and to take concrete measures to destroy terrorist bases in the Pankiss gorge. 'Responsibility for the consequences of armed incursions by bandits into Russia lies wholly on the Georgian side,' states an announcement from the Russian Foreign Ministry.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969