Georgian President Denies Existence Of Drug Producing Plants In Pankisi Gorge

Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze denies that in Georgia's Pankisi Gorge there are drug producing plants. Shevardnadze said at a news briefing Monday that "according to available reports, there are no drug producing plants in the Pankisi Gorge." "It is true that there are drug producers and traffickers of all kinds in Georgia," said Shevardnadze. However, he qualified assertions about drug producing plants as "an obvious exaggeration." At a news conference in the Georgian embassy in Moscow on Friday, Shevardnadze confirmed that drugs were coming from the Pankisi Gorge, but Georgian law enforcers were combating this illicit business.