British experts consider elimination of Khattab as the most significant success of the counter-terrorist operation in Chechnya

According to the report of the RIA Novosti correspondent, the annual report "On military balance in 2002-2003" prepared by the International institute of strategic studies and made public on Thursday in London characterized elimination of Khattab, ring-leader of Chechen terrorists as the biggest success of the anti-terrorist operation in Chechnya.

According to authors of the report, elimination of Khattab established grounds for optimism that similar mercenary -terrorists would lay down their arms and give up their fight.

The document stated that terrorists were still staying in Chechnya constantly regrouping and changing their places of stationing.

The report indicated that Chechen militants stayed in the Pankisi gorge in Georgia and Georgian authorities acknowledged that. Nevertheless, "Georgia did not wish and taking into account its weak military potential and lack of appropriate experience was not able to ensure its authority in that region." The report of the International institute of strategic studies stated that at the same time Georgia refused assistance offered by Russia to carry out a joint operation in that gorge and would not extradite to Russian authorities the Chechen terrorists who crossed the border into the Georgian territory after combat clashes with Federal forces in Chechnya.

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Author`s name Editorial Team