Russian defence minister Sergei Ivanov said that the Georgian authorities were not ready for joint anti-terrorist efforts in the Caucasus. Speaking Thursday at a press conference in London, Ivanov stressed, "We see no attempts or enthusiasm of the Georgian authorities to regain control over the Pankisi Gorge". According to Ivanov, the Georgian authorities have no real control over the gorge. "This is a fact of life," stressed the minister. The Russian defence minister remarked that the aforementioned part of Georgia had been occupied by terrorists and served as a financial, information and other source o f support for terrorists and mercenaries fighting in Chechnya. Ivanov said that consultations on fighting terror are fruitful when the other side is willing to cooperate.
The strike was defensive in nature and came in response to three attacks on the US military in February