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10 Jun 2003 description

(Tbilisi, June 10 2003, Civil Georgia) - The part of Chechen refugees living in Georgia's Pankisi gorge are strongly against repatriation in Chechnya, while another part demands security guarantees in case of return.

Chechen refugees expressed concerns regarding the possible repatriation during the meeting with the delegation of the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations today in Pankisi gorge.

"Russia is ready to provide living conditions for you in Chechnya.

09 Jun 2003 description

(Tbilisi, June 9 2003, Civil Georgia) - Russian delegation, led by the Deputy Minister for Emergency Situations Yuri Brazhnikov arrived today in Tbilisi to discuss with the Georgian authorities issue of repatriation Chechen refugees living in Georgia's Pankisi gorge.

28 Apr 2003 description

NATO MPs Satisfied with Situation in Pankisi

Georgian authorities are proud to demonstrate Pankisi gorge as an example of a success story of the law enforcement agencies, which could restore rule of law in this tiny gorge, which was no-go area and safe haven for the Chechen fighters and Arab mercenaries in the previous years.

18 Apr 2003 description

(Tbilisi. April 18, 2003. Civil Georgia) - Dozens of Chechen refugees in Duisi village of Pankisi gorge went on hunger strike demanding resettlement to the third country.

25 Mar 2003 description

(Tbilisi. March 25, 2003. Civil Georgia) - Secretary of the Russian Security Council Vladimir Rushailo said on March 24 Russian and Georgian authorities will renew joint activities on return of the Chechen refugees living in Georgia's Pankisi gorge.

"The Russian President has already requested the Emergency Ministry to start working on the issue," Russian media sources report quoting Vladimir Rushailo, which held talks with his Georgian counterpart Tedo Japaridze in Moscow.

14 Mar 2003 description

(Tbilisi. March 14, 2003. Civil Georgia) - Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said Iran is ready to cooperate with Russia in establishing stability and security in the North Caucasus.

In the interview to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti Kamal Kharrazi said that the issue of ensuring stability in the Caucasus, particularly in Chechnya, Nagorno-Karabakh and Abkhazia was discussed during the talks with the Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov.

02 Mar 2003 description

(Tbilisi, September 2, 2003, Civil Georgia) - Russian Minister for the Chechnya Stanislav Iliasov told the reporters in Tbilisi that Moscow guarantees security for the Chechen refugees willing to return in Chechnya.

Stanislav Iliasov said he hopes the repatriation will start in late September.

"Russian Government is ready to grant compensation payments for housing and unemployment benefits in case of repatriation," Stanislav Iliasov said after the meeting with Georgian President Shevardnadze on September 1.

Russian minister also said that delegation of the Russian …

27 Jan 2003 description

(Tbilisi, January 27, 2003. Civil Georgia) - Commander of the Russian Border Guard Department Konstantin Totski said at the news briefing in Moscow that Russia welcomes OSCE decision to expand its border monitoring mission at the Russian-Georgian border.

"I hope after the increase in number of observers at the border, the reports of the OSCE border monitoring mission would become more trustworthy," Russian media sources quote Totski.

27 Dec 2002 description

Ruslan Isayev, North Caucasus - On Wednesday night at about 2 a.m., several unknown persons broke into the office of German organization HELP, located in Ingushetia's largest town Nazran in the Gikalo street, beat the guard and seized a safe with 7,500 euro, 2,600 USD, some 100,000 roubles as well as financial documents of the organization.

The attackers also seized one passenger car VAZ-2110 owned by one of HELP's workers, and run away on it. The police are looking into the crime now.

24 Dec 2002 description

(Tbilisi, December 24, 2002. Civil Georgia) - The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will extend its monitoring mission at the Daghestani section of the Georgian-Russian border in 2003.

"The border monitoring mission extends and expands. Decision was taken in Vienna on December 19.

30 Oct 2002 description

(Tbilisi, Civil Georgia, October 30, 2002) - Today Georgian Interior Minister Koba Narchemashvili visited Pankisi gorge and supplied Chechen refugees living in the gorge with the humanitarian aid.

Up to 3,700 Chechen refugees live in Pankisi gorge. Georgian authorities say anti-criminal operation in the gorge is held with respect of rights of refugees.

Georgian Interior Ministry together with the Security Ministry carries out special operation in the gorge for the final crackdown on criminals and militants remaining in Pankisi.

19 Oct 2002 description

(Tbilisi, Civil Georgia, October 18, 2002) - Georgia is ready for constructive cooperation with Russia on repatriation of Chechen refugees, living in Pankisi gorge, on the voluntary bases, Georgian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Kakha Sikharulidze said at the news briefing on October 18.

Earlier Russian Foreign Ministry reported that Georgia delays to provide Russia the list of Chechen refugees willing to return in Chechnya.

Kakha Sikharulidze said that according to the international standards the some of the data concerning the refugees are confidential.

18 Oct 2002 description

(Tbilisi, Civil Georgia, October 18, 2002) - Valeri Chkheidze, Commander of the Georgian Border Guard Department and his Russian counterpart Konstantin Totski signed an agreement concerning the improvement of the security measures at the Russo-Georgian border on October 17 in Armenian capital Yerevan.

Russian media sources report that the agreement considers exchange of information between the border guard agencies of the two countries and joint patrolling of the border.

18 Oct 2002 description

"There is the preliminary agreement with the OSCE [Organization for security and Cooperation in Europe] to widen its border monitoring mission at the Daghestani section of the Georgian-Russian border," Irakli Menagharishvili, Georgian Foreign Minister told the reporters today.

In December 1999, the OSCE began monitoring movements across the 82-kilometre border between Georgia and the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation.

16 Oct 2002 description

(Tbilisi, Civil Georgia, October 16, 2002) - Russian Foreign Ministry's official representative Alexander Yakovenko told the reporters on October 15 that Georgia has not submitted to Russia list of Chechen refugees, who want to return to their homes in Chechnya.

"Russia is doing its best to assist repatriation of the Russian citizens in Chechnya," Yakonenko said.

The Russian-Georgian joint commission was created in February to work out the plan of action for repatriation of Chechen refugees.

12 Oct 2002 description

(Tbilisi, Civil Georgia, October 12, 2002) - Meeting of the Parliamentary Chairmen of four Caucasian countries - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Russia is held in Georgian capital Tbilisi on October 12.

The Chairman of the Russian Federal Council, upper chamber of the Parliament Sergei Mironov arrives today in Tbilisi to participate in the meeting.

It is anticipated that the conflicts in the region will be in the top of the agenda during the meeting.

This kind of meeting is held for the second time. The first one was held in St. Petersburg, Russia on July 15.

08 Oct 2002 description

(Tbilisi, Civil Georgia, October 8, 2002) - President Shevardnadze told the reporters on October 7, that he asked his Russian counterpart Putin to send a special commission to Georgia, which works on Chechen refugees' repatriation to Russia.

Up to 3,800 refugees live in Georgia's Pankisi gorge at the moment.

Georgian Foreign Minister Irakli Menagharishvili said on October 8, that the arrival of the Russian commission is anticipated in the nearest future.

27 Sep 2002 description

Georgian Minister of Interior, Koba Narchemashvili announced on September 27 that the military phase of operation in Pankisi has ended. He says the police operation would continue to identify and arrest the criminals, however no military threat exists any more as the Chechen guerrillas are no longer in the gorge or surrounding areas.

The announcement comes just a day after Russian Federal Troops have engaged large and combat-ready concentration of guerrillas in Galashki village of Ingushetia - a North Caucasus republic neighboring Chechnya.

05 Sep 2002 description

(Tbilisi, September 5, 2002, Civil Georgia) - Today Russian Defense Ministry delegation of 20 experts arrived in Georgia today aiming to investigate bombing of Georgia's Ilto gorge, bordering Chechnya, together with the Georgian side.

The Russian delegation will leave for Ilto gorge in the nearest days. It is yet unknown how long the visit will last for.

One man died as a result of bombardment on August 23. Georgian government accused Russian aviation of bombing the Georgian territory. Russian authorities dismissed accusations.

04 Sep 2002 description

Georgian authorities try to implement complex measures in order to solve the Pankisi problem. Together with the anti-criminal operation that runs in the troubled gorge, the Georgian authorities intend to work out ways of social improvement in the region.

On September 2 the third phase of the anti-criminal operation started in Pankisi. According to the Interior Ministry attempt would be made at releasing the hostages held in the gorge.