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Russia's President: Unless Georgia Stops Militants' Sorties from Her Territory, Russia Will Exercise Her Right for Self-defence - 12 September, 2002

On Wednesday, while speaking at his meeting with the heads of law enforcement agencies, President Putin said, 'Unless Georgia stops militants' sorties from her territory, Russia will exercise her right for self-defence'.

According to the President's press service, he also said, 'If Georgia's leaders keep being unable to create a safety zone along the border with Russia and will continue ignoring the 1373 resolution of UN's Security Council dated September 28, 2001, will not stop the bandit's sorties into Russia and attacks on her border areas, we reserve the right to act in accordance with the Article 51 of UN's Charter assuring every state's unquestionable right for individual or collective self-defence.'

'While Russia is firm following her international obligations and respects the sovereignty and integrity of other states', he concluded, 'she expects and demands exactly the same treatment from others'.

The President instructed the Directors of the Federal Border Service and the Federal Security Service and the Minister of Defence to report to him concerning the adherence to the previous directions as to guarding Russia's borders and charged them with devising additional measures to that end. The Minister of Defence was ordered to present his suggestions as to possible special operations to destroy the militant gangs, regardless of where they may be, if their attempts to break through into Russia continue.

The General Staff were ordered to devise suggestions as to the possibility and feasibility of striking the militants' camps and stations whose locations have been exactly established during pursuit operations. The Foreign Ministry was ordered 'to inform the UN Secretary General, the members of the Security Council, and Russia's partners in the anti-terrorist coalition about our concern as to Georgia's repeated violations of the Council's resolutions'.

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