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Russia and Armenia are on the one side in their confrontation with terrorism
This was stated on Friday by Sergei Mironov, speaker of the Federation Council (upper house of the Russian parliament) upon his arrival in the capital of Armenia. He noted that during his visit a joint statement on fighting terrorism is to be signed. Russia had to toughen control regime at the checkpoints of the Russian-Georgian border, Mr. Mironov said. "After the tragic events in Beslan we had to take certain measures being aware of the fact that it is from the territory of Georgia, where many terrorists feel themselves free-and-easy, they penetrate into our territory," this is how Sergei Mironov commented upon the closure by the Russian side of the Verkhny Lars border passage point at the Military Georgian Highway which links North Ossetia and Georgia via the Daryal Gorge. He also stressed that these measures are in no way aimed to hinder transit of cargoes from Armenia. The speaker of the Federation Council expressed hope that in the long run Georgia and the Georgian people will understand that "only peaceful friendly co-existence of all states in the Caucasus makes for the prosperity of our peoples and the common position on combating terrorism. At the same time advisor of the Georgian president for political affairs Timur Alazania said in an interview with RIA Novosti, while commenting on the recent interview with Chechen separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov in the air of the Georgian private channel Mze, which made so much noise, "that there are no militants on the territory of Georgia nor there will be any." "There are no militants not because we want to please somebody. We are proceeding from the strategic interests of Georgia," Mr. Alazania stressed." The presence of any kinds of militants, armed people, terrorists, nationalistically-minded people or religious extremists would have been to the detriment of Georgia first of all. At that Mr. Alazania said that it is true that refugees from Chechnya reside on the territory of Georgia. "We have refugees and we admit this openly. We are speaking about women, children and old people," Mr. Alazania stressed. In his words, as of today part of the Chechen refugees have left for Turkey, another part dispersed in the region, and still another part returned to Russia," Timur Alazania said. Within the framework of his visit to Yerevan, Sergei Mironov will hold meetings with President Robert Kocharyan of Armenia, Prime Minister Andranilk Markaryan and chairman of the National Assembly Artur Bagdasaryan. The speaker of the Federation Council will visit the military base of the 123rd motor-rifle regiment of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, take part in the ceremony of placing wreathes at the Memorial to 1915 Armenian genocide victims in Osman Turkey and will speak before students and teachers of the Yerevan State university. Mr. Mironov will also take part in the ceremony of opening the Center for Assistance to Inter-regional cooperation between Armenia and the Russian Federation.
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