Georgia rejects border guard plan

Georgia has rejected as insufficient a proposal by an international organisation to train local border guards as Russia prevents the current border-monitoring operation from doing its job.

    Georgia has urged international monitoring of its borders

    Nino Burzhanadze, speaker of the Georgian parliament, told the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) parliamentary

    assembly that "international eyes" were needed to counter repeated Russian complaints about border infiltrations from Georgia.

    "We think the main reason why Russia closed the border-monitoring

    operation was to leave us in a tete-a-tete" with Moscow

    , Burzhanadze said on Thursday.

    "I want more attention by the international community to see if we can try to prolong the mission to include the European parliament and Nato," she added.

    OSCE chief Dimitrij Rupel said he regretted Russia had
    pulled out of the four-year-old border-monitoring agreement, which was set up at Moscow's demand to stem the passage of armed men from Georgia into Chechnya, a breakaway republic in southern Russia.

    He said Georgia would be offered help to train its border
    guards as an alternative, but Burzhanadze said this "would not be politically effective".

    Moscow has pulled out of cooperation with the OSCE and called for a reduction of its contribution to the 2005 budget, saying the organisation was too closely aligned with the West.

    SOURCE: AFP


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