Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 5

On January 30, the secretary of the Russian Security Council, Vladimir Rushailo, completed an official visit to Georgia. During his meeting with President Eduard Shevardnadze, it was agreed that “in the near future a delegation of the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations will come to Georgia and, together with the Ministry for Refugee Affairs of Georgia, they will discuss the question of returning Chechen refugees from the Pankisi Gorge [in Georgia] to Chechnya.” There are at least 7,000 Chechen refugees presently living in northern Georgia. “The delegation of the Ministry of Emergency Situations will study the possibility of returning these people to Chechnya.” The refugees, for their part, “have more than once declared that they do not intend to return to Chechnya before the complete ceasing of military actions there” (Kommersant, January 31).