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Russia Again Criticizes Georgia On Fight Against Terrorism

Moscow, 1 October 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Russia has reiterated allegations that Georgian officials are collaborating with terrorists. Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov today said Russian authorities have "every reason to believe" some Georgian officials are cooperating with Chechen separatists which Moscow alleges are sheltering in Georgia's Pankisi Gorge.

Ivanov's comments come shortly after Georgia allowed a Russian military convoy to travel to a Russian base in Georgia, ending a two-day standoff.

The Russian convoy left Tbilisi yesterday for the Russian base in Batumi on an inspection trip. But the Georgians stopped the Russians about halfway into the 500-kilometer trip, saying the convoy lacked proper permission. The standoff continued into today.

But reports now say Georgian authorities have given permission to the convoy to travel to the base.