Source Pravda.Ru

Russian Defence Minister speaks about Georgia's role in resolving issue of Chechen militants in Pankisi Gorge

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov believes that Georgia will not be able to resolve the problem of Chechen bandit units in the Pankisi Gorge without the assistance of Russia.

The minister told reporters about it on Monday at the news conference after the conference with the command of the Baltic Fleet.

"We see that big gangs of terrorists still remain in the territory of Georgia which is unable to do anything with them," pointed out the minister. "We must take measures to prevent them from penetrating Russia." Sergei Ivanov said that the Russian frontier-guards and the federal forces had been fighting a battle for the third day at the Russian-Georgian border. One of the groups of the militants, according to the minister, has already been encircled.

The Russian Defence Minister said that the situation was under control now but, unfortunately, there were losses among the Russian servicemen. But there are also captured bandits.

Sergei Ivanov underscored that preventive measures against the penetration of bandit formations into the territory of Russia would continue to be taken.

"I do not see any other methods to defend Russian citizens and to prevent the penetration of terrorists into our territory," pointed out the Defence Minister.

At the same time he said that of late our relations with Georgia on a number of issues "have been positively developing." He called it "a step in the right direction" the recent extradition to Russia by the Georgian side of one of the notorious terrorists, Adam Dekkushev, who is accused of organising terrorist acts in Moscow and Volgodonsk.

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