Ex-FSB chief offers his viewing of latest Georgia developments

The Georgian events that resulted in the take-over of power had been staged according to the Yugoslavian scenario. Nikolai Kovalyov, former chief of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) and currently a deputy chairman of the security committee of the State Duma, (the lower house of parliament), said when he appeared on Rossia channel in Vesti Nedeli (Weekly News) programme on Sunday.

"The Georgian opera was plaid smoothly and harmoniously. It was composed in Yugoslavia 3 years ago," said Mr Kovalyov. The Duma's security committee has conducted investigation into the Georgian developments and revealed that Georgia's coup had been plotted elaborately according to the Belgrade patterns, he said.

"What happened in Georgia was not incidental. To the best of my knowledge the full alert was announced in spring 2003," said the former FSB chief.

The team to be sent to Georgia had undergone training in camps 70 km off Belgrade, according to him. "They selected suitable politicians who might help stage a velvet revolution and trained them," said Mr Kovalyov.

Georgian opposition leaders then frequented Serbia, he said. Saakashvili stayed in Serbia for 6 months and is known to have visited the camps.

"The camps were opened in 2002. They are funded mainly by the United States through public foundations," said the former FSB director.

He pointed to the fact that US ambassador to Georgia Richard Miles was also ambassador to Yugoslavia when President Milosevic was overthrown, and he was also ambassador to Azerbaijan during the 1992 coup there.

Still more alarming was information that the Serbian-based camps were training men from another 6 countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). "There were representatives of Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan and other republics. They were all involved in Georgian unrest," said Mr Kovalyov.

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