Alexander Yakovenko: Tbilisi plays into the hands of terrorists

Moscow officials believe Tbilisi's manner of protracting a decision concerning extradition of Chechen terrorists betrays that it is lenient towards terrorists and "plays into their hands," announced Alexander Yakovenko, the official spokesman for the Russian foreign ministry.

Answering journalists' questions about the Georgian Supreme Court's decision concerning extradition of the Chechen militants that were arrested on the Georgian-Russian border, Yakovenko reminded that the court had satisfied the appeal lodged by their lawyers. It had also condemned the December 5 decision of the district court to extradite them as illegal.

As we see, "the apparency of the fact that the Chechen terrorists must be extradited is being stifled by judicial pettifoggery that has no end," the diplomat said. "All this proves that official Tbilisi is lenient towards terrorists and actually plays into their hands." This line of behavior "runs counter to the Chisinau Agreements that the presidents of the two countries reached on October 6, 2002," he continued.

In the meantime, the Russian side keeps pressing Tbilisi to immediately extradite the terrorists, all of whom are accused of engineering terrorist acts on the Russian territory.

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