Georgian Militia Brought to Pankisi Ravine, Situation Remains Stable

As Major General Georgy Shervashidze said while speaking at a press conference today, Georgian militia brought to Pankisi ravine, situation there remains stable. Mr. Shervashidze said that 'local residents support the government's efforts to keep law and order in the area' and that recruiting locals into regional law enforcement units to man the new stations in the villages in the ravine was being considered.

Yesterday, about 1,000 Georgia's internal troops were brought into the villages located in the Pankisi ravine. According to the press service of the Ministry of Interior of Georgia, 7 military stations have been set up there. There are plans for setting up another 3 stations and increasing the number of Georgian troops in the ravine by another 1,500.

The ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia 'supports the intention of Georgia's authorities to restore law and order in the Pankisi ravine'. However, Russia is against the policy of the peaceful displacement of terrorists now staying in the ravine. The way it is happening now, pressure is applied to move the militants in the direction of Russia's border. This way of 'removing' terrorists may lead to new tensions. The terrorists must be surrounded, disarmed, and extradited to Russia. Is such is the intention of Georgia, Russia is prepared to support it by all means.

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