Spanish Diplomats Visited the Pankisi Valley
In early January representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain visited refugees from Chechnya living in the Pankisi Valley of Georgia.
Spanish diplomats were interested in socio-economic situation of Chechen refugees, possible pressure on them by local authorities, conditions for children to receive education and other issues.
Before Spanish diplomats the Pankisi Valley was visited by representatives of China, Iran, Lithuania, Ukraine, United States, France, Germany, Sweden, Peru and other countries on 29 October 2009, after Russia’s allegations about the valley.
So many diplomatic visits to the Pankisi Valley were due to the initiative of Georgian Christian-Democratic Movement. It was caused by a statement of the head of the KGB of Russia Alexander Bortnikov that allegedly Georgian security services are supplying arms and ammunition to Chechen mujahedeens from the Pankisi Valley.
MP Giorgi Targamadze, leader of parliamentary minority and of Christian-Democratic Movement (CDM), whose party led this campaign of fact-finding trip, said the move was a counter-measure to Russia’s allegations that Georgia was helping militants to infiltrate into Russia from its territory. “For Georgians it is clear that the Russian allegations are groundless… But we should let foreigners see with their own eyes situation on the ground. We should counter Russia’s disinformation campaign with true information and the truth, which is on the ground,” MP Giorgi Targamadze said.