Georgian officials have rejected Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's claims that Islamic State (IS) militants are being trained in Georgia's Pankisi Gorge region, near the border with Russia's volatile southern republic of Chechnya.
Zurab Abashidze, an envoy for Georgia's Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, told journalists on January 26 that Lavrov's statements were "tendentious."
Earlier on January 26, Lavrov said in Moscow that the Kremlin has "information that the IS militants go through training, and get rest and additional resources in the Pankisi Gorge."
Abashidze said that as many as 30 men from the Pankisi Gorge had left for Syria and joined Islamic extremists there.
He said that all of them would face charges when they return to Georgia.
Kvirikashvili said earlier on January 26 that Tbilisi "fully controls the situation in the Pankisi Gorge," which is home to Muslims with ethnic ties to Chechens.
Based on reporting by apsny.ge and Interfax