Officials Claim Georgian-Russian Joint Operation in Pankisi not Planned

(Tbilisi, Civil Georgia, July 11, 2002) – Vladimir Rushailo, Secretary of the Russian National Security Council, who paid three-day official visit to Georgia, stated that the issue of joint military operation in Pankisi gorge was not discussed at talks with the Georgian officials.

At the joint news briefing with his Georgian counterpart Tedo Japaridze on July 11, Vladimir Rushailo stated that the issues of cooperation of the law enforcement agencies concerning Pankisi were discussed during the negotiations.

Tedo Japaridze also confirmed that the joint Georgian-Russian military operation against terrorist groups and Chechen fighters hiding in Georgia’s troubled gorge is not in the agenda.

Russia urges Georgia to hold joint operation in Pankisi. Georgian side is categorically against of such a proposal.