Georgian lawmaker appeals for restoration of Russian-Georgian relations

Talking with reporters after a meeting with Russian Federation CouncilFirst Deputy Speaker Valery Goreglyad, Vakhtang Rcheulishvili, vice-speakerof the Georgian parliament, declared that it was impossible to achievestability in the region without restoration of Russian-Georgian relations.However, Russia "should understand the fact that a relocation of theChechen armed conflict to Georgian territory is unacceptable, since in suchan event, we would have another Chechnya in Georgia," he remarked.Rcheulishvili underlined that 12 militants detained by Georgia had to beextradited to Russia without delays. At the same time Goreglyad voiced his concern about a statement by theparliament of Georgia of September 12, submitted to internationalorganizations, that Russian President Vladimir Putin was misinterpretingArticle 51 of the UN Charter. In Goreglyad's view, the Russian President'sstatement does not envisage an attempt to annex the territory of Georgia. Goreglyad and Rcheulishvili also underscored that efforts of the Georgianparty alone were not enough to eliminate international terrorists in thePankisi gorge. In this connection the parties remarked about the necessityof joint efforts to fight international terrorism. They pointed out thatsuch struggle should be conducted on the international level. An agreement was reached during the meeting to continue the work of thebilateral Russian-Georgian parliamentary commission, whose first meetingwas held in Sochi in 1998. Social, humanitarian and economic issues will bediscussed at the next meeting of the commission, which is to be held inGeorgia, Goreglyad reported. .

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