(Tbilisi, Civil Georgia, July 16, 2002) – “Chechen refugees’ repatriation will be held in full cooperation with the UN High Commissioner on Refugees in Georgia and Russia and other interested international organizations,” Kakha Sikharulidze, spokesman of the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the Civil Georgia on July 16.
MFA official denied rumors that the Georgian side intends to hand over to the Russian side the list and personal data of registered refugees of the Chechen origin, enjoying asylum of the Georgian government.
Kakha Sikharulidze says that in case the repatriation process starts it will be carried out according to the international law. Georgian government requests security guarantees for the Chechen refugees who want to return to their homes in Chechnya.
The issue was discussed during the visit of Vladimer Rushailo, Secretary of the Russian National Security Council, on July 9-11.
Kakha Sikharulidze said that the Russian side is also committed to the peaceful resolution of the refugee problem.
According to the latest registration held in April up to 3,700 Chechen refugees live in Georgia’s troubled Pankisi gorge.