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    FSB POINTS TO IMPROVED BORDER COOPERATION WITH GEORGIA

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    MOSCOW, February 13 (RIA Novosti) - Border cooperation between Russia and Georgia has achieved a new level, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) believes.

    "Today we are bringing our cooperation to a new level of interaction, maintenance of contacts, information exchange," deputy head of the FSB frontier service Lieutenant General Alexander Manilov said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

    According to him, within the framework of Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili's recent working visit to Moscow, head of the FSB frontier service Vladimir Pronichev met with chairman of the Georgian State Department of State Border Guard Valery Chkheidze. At the meeting the parties initialed the protocol between the FSB and the Georgian department on exchange of current information and solution of different problems arousing at the border.

    "The protocol was prepared with account for the real situation on the Russian-Georgian sector of the border, especially in Chechnya. Earlier this question had already been at issue, but more routinely," Manilov said.

    "This protocol will provide a legal basis for current information exchange between the two countries' frontier guards," he pointed out and explained that the executors of the protocol would be the FSB frontier department and the Georgian State Department of State Border Guard.

    The document envisages that bodies and troops of the two states deployed on the Russian-Georgian border may directly exchange information on issues within their field of expertise if necessary. These issues include "violation of borders, preparations for illegal border crossing," Manilov explained.

    "Information to be exchanged can be provided in form of requests, at meetings of authorized representatives, in business correspondence, with the use of different technical means, depending on the developments and the conditions in which border troops find themselves," he said.

    The main legal enactment that regulates border issues between Russia and Georgia is the agreement on cooperation and interaction signed in November 1998.

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