Russian parliamentarians: Russian anti -terrorist operation in Georgia has no connection with U.S. military operation against Iraq

Konstantin Kosachev, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma (the Lower Chamber of the Russian Parliament) Commission for International Affairs said at a Friday press conference in Moscow that he did not think that there was a connection between Russian President Vladimir Putin' statement on the Georgian issue and the U.S. plans to conduct a military operation against Iraq. According to him, there is no connection between the two, and that the only coincidence is that the decisions were taken at the same time.

When speaking about the difference between the Iraqi issue and the Georgian issue, Mr. Kosachev pointed out that an agreement base existed. The Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Commission for International Affairs also emphasized that at present 'no one doubts that Chechen terrorists are in Pankisi Gorge'.

The Iraqi issue is completely different. Mr. Kosachev stressed that before George W. Bush's yesterday statement, Iraq had been accused of support for international terrorism, proliferation of mass destruction weapons and violation of rights of its population. After the statement the country is charged with violation of the UN resolutions only.

According to Mr. Kosachev, the U.S. President admitted that 'we do not have enough evidence'. Meanwhile, Konstantin Kosachev pointed out that Russia had a concrete stance on the Georgian issue. Russia is seeking to fight against terrorists, said Mr. Kosachev.

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