In brief, News

Warns of Russian border raid

by | Dec 14, 2011

TBILISI, DFWatch – A Georgian parliamentarian warns that a statement from Russia’s chief security adviser could signal Russian military action of the kind that took place in 2002.

Giorgi Targamadze, representative of the parliamentary opposition and a member of parliament’s Trust Group, calls for the government to pay serious attention to accusations made by the Russian Security Council secretary Nikolai Patrushev that terrorists are being trained in Georgia.

Patrushev said in an interview with the newspaper “Argumenti i Fakti” that persons are trained on Georgian territory to carry out terrorist acts in Russia.

Giorgi Targamadze claims that the same kind of statement was made by Patrushev almost a decade ago, and it was followed by bombing of Georgian villages in the Pankisi Gorge, a part Georgia bordering on Chechnya with a historic Chechen population. Following the two Chechen wars, thousands of refugees settled there, and it is regularly mentioned by Russian security officials claiming that it is a base for terrorists operating in North Caucasus.

In 2002, there were reports of 40-minute raid by Russian military jets that dropped bombs over several villages in Pankisi causing civilian deaths, an attack Russia denied responsibility for.

Patrushev headed the FSB during Putin’s 2000-2008 presidency and is considered a member of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle. When he says something it is usually assumed to be representative of Prime Minister Putin’s view.

Targamadze thinks Georgia and the international community should pay attention to his statement.

“This statement cannot be ignored. It should be paid serious attention to and there should be discussion about it in terms of domestic policy and there should be increased international interest about this statement.”

“When Russia’s internal policy temperature rises, it causes increasing danger and risks in its neighborhood and specifically in our country,” Targamadze said.

According to him the trust group of the parliament should gather to discuss Patrushev statement. He said the meeting should be attended by Gela Bezhuashvili, the head of Georgia’s external intelligence service. The group is made up of members of parliament who have access to all information in connection with security and defense.

 



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