Caucasian Mullah Omar (Shevardnadze) has no choice, preventive bombing to follow
The visit of Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov to the USA has brought some surprises. As soon as the minister came down the ladder, he made several harsh statements about Georgia. He particularly warned of possible preemptive strikes on the Pankisi Gorge. The minister said, as quoted by RIA new agency, "if any more attempts are made or prepared on the Georgian territory to organize terrorist acts and blow up houses in Russia, nobody will wait anymore. We will simply prevent such attacks." Sergey Ivanov says that Russia wants only to prevent more attacks and aggression from Georgia, nothing more.
The Russian hawk, which is how the Russian defense minister is called in foreign media (the Bush administration has hawks of its own: Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Condoleezza Rice), was obviously speaking not on behalf of himself. This was probably the wish of Russia’s commander-in-chief. The other day, President Putin met Commander of the RF General Staff Anatoly Kvashnin and Director of the Federal Frontier Service Konstantin Totsky. The president told journalists that he received a letter from Georgian President Shevardnadze.
However, the response from the Georgian president provided no answers to the questions asked by Russia. In Putin’s words, “the Georgian party provided no guarantees that no terrorists would penetrate into Russia from its territory.” Therefore, the Russian president is dissatisfied with the letter sent by Shevardnadze.
Commander of the RF General Staff Anatoly Kvashnin thinks that the Georgian leadership “doesn’t differ at all from Afghanistan’s Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader. It should change a lot in its activity to be kind of a Caucasian Musharraf.”
Today’s statement by Sergey Ivanov was a culmination. To make foreign partners understand whom Sergey Ivanov supports, the minister added that Russia had “tons of evidence” that terrorists, and not only Chechens, are on Georgian territory. He said he would give American partners additional information concerning the Pankisi Gorge.
Dmitry Chirkin PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/09/19/47306.html
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