Sergei Mironov, Chairman of the Federation Council (upper chamber of the Russian Parliament), believes that Georgia is unable to settle the problem of Chechen gunmen in Pankisi without the assistance of foreign armed forces. He said that on Wednesday at a press-conference in Khabarovsk (Russian Far East).
"The situation is such that the Georgian side is unable to cope with the problem of gunmen in the Pankisi Gorge on its own," said the speaker. "Otherwise, how can one explain the situation when armed people freely pass through border territory, cross over a guarded border from the other side and begin to fight Russian border guards?" Mironov stressed that the matter concerns not just armed people, but international terrorists who are trying to destabilize the situation in the Caucasus, while terrorism must be rebuffed in any part of the world, he noted.
There are many forced settlers from Chechnya, including gunmen, in the Pankisi Gorge, through which runs the Chechen section of the Russian-Georgian border.