Russian Security Council Secretary: third countries may be involved in solving Pankisi Gorge problem

Russian Security Council Secretary Vladimir Rushailo does not exclude a possibility of involving third countries in solving the Pankisi gorge problem.

When answering journalists' question about a possible joint Russian-Georgian military operation in the gorge on Thursday, Rushailo stressed that the decision on such an operation was a prerogative of the two presidents.

During his negotiations with the Georgian leadership "no military operation was at issue," he pointed out.

At issue now are joint operations by law-enforcing structures and security services, aimed first of all at the elimination of financing channels of rebel formations and illegal deliveries of drugs and arms, the Security Council Secretary explained.

Anyway, the decisions are taken by the two countries' presidents, he stressed. The presidents may as well decide "to involve other means" if necessary, including third countries, Rushailo believes.

Georgian Security Council Secretary Tedo Dzhaparidze in his turn stressed that the discussion concerned an intensive dialogue on this issue between security services and law-enforcing structures, but there was no talk of conducting military operations.

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