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    MOSCOW HOPES FOR GEORGIA'S COMMITMENT TO COMBATING TERRORISM

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    MOSCOW, May 1 (RIA Novosti) - Russia hopes Georgia will continue efforts to crack down on terrorist activity near the shared border, Alexander Yakovenko, official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, told the media Saturday.

    The Russo-Georgian agenda remains dominated by issues of countering international terrorism and ensuring security near the common border, Yakovenko said in reply to a reporter's question about topics to be discussed at the forthcoming talks with the Georgian Foreign Minister, Salome Zurabishvili. She is due in Moscow on May 6.

    To quote Yakovenko, "Russia hopes for positive changes in the Georgian side's approaches to the prevention of cross-border activity of Chechen militants, declared readiness for closer cooperation between frontier and law-enforcement agencies of the two countries." "At the same time, we expect Tbilisi [to take] further concrete steps, including the Pankisi Gorge's thorough cleaning of Chechen militants, the detention and extradition of the masterminds of explosions in Moscow and Volgodonsk who are hiding in Georgian territory," the diplomat said.

    Depending on actual progress in this area, Russia may contemplate relaxing visa rules for Georgian nationals, Yakovenko added.

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