Moscow Censures Irresponsible Statements By Georgia's Leaders

Mikhail Margelov, chairman of the international committee at the Federation Council (the upper chamber of Russian parliament) has called irresponsible the statement of the Georgian leadership on Russian helicopters ostensibly having bombed the territory of Georgia. He stressed in an interview that "such words cannot be simply spoken out without 100-percent proof of their truth". The senator reminded that Moscow has always "positively regarded" the idea of cooperation with Georgia for resolving all "disputable" problems, such as the Russia-Georgia frontier and the stay of Russian peace-keepers in Abkhazia. "Regretfully, the Georgian side has not reciprocated and the entire story with Ruslan Gelaev and Chechen terrorists finding refuge on the Georgian territory has brought an element of strain in Russian-Georgian relations", said Mikhail Margelov. In his view, "in the obtaining, not at all simple conditions such irresponsible utterances as today's can only complicate our relations". In this connection, Senator Margelov invited the Georgian leadership "not to portray Russia as an enemy and in this way try to unite Georgian society". As regards a planned meeting between the Russian and Georgian presidents, Margelov said that such declarations of the Georgian leadership as today's "regrettably do not bring in the constructive spirit". Simultaneously, Margelov recalled that Moscow has always been for the settling of problems with Georgia and for the continuation of cooperation. "Of course, in future, too, Russia will manifest goodwill in relations with Georgia and hope for it to yield fruit", said Mikhail Margelov.