Joint Declaration by President George W. Bush and President Vladimir V. Putin on the New Strategic Relationship Between the United States of America and the Russian Federation, US-Russia Summit, Moscow, 24 May 2002. Released by Office of the Press Secretary, White House


    In Central Asia and the South Caucasus, we recognize our common interest in promoting the stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of all the nations of this region. The United States and Russia reject the failed model of "Great Power" rivalry that can only increase the potential for conflict in those regions. We will support economic and political development and respect for human rights while we broaden our humanitarian cooperation and cooperation on counterterrorism and counternarcotics.

    The United States and Russia will cooperate to resolve regional conflicts, including those in Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh, and the Transnistrian issue in Moldova. We strongly encourage the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia to exhibit flexibility and a constructive approach to resolving the conflict concerning Nagorno-Karabakh. As two of the Co-Chairmen of the OSCE's Minsk Group, the United States and Russia stand ready to assist in these efforts.

Patterns of Global Terrorism 2001-Eurasia Overview, Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, US Department of State, 21 May 2002


    The Georgian Government condemned the September 11 terrorist attacks and supports the international Coalition’s fight against terrorism. Immediately following the attacks, the Georgian border guard troops along the border with Russia went on high alert to monitor the passage of potential terrorists in the area. In early October, Tbilisi offered the United States the use of its airfields and airspace.

    Georgia continued to face spillover violence from the Chechen conflict, including a short period of fighting in the separatist region of Abkhazia and bombings by aircraft from Russian territory on Georgia under the guise of antiterrorist operations. Like Azerbaijan, Georgia also contended with international mujahidin using Georgia as a conduit for financial and logistic support for the mujahidin and Chechen fighters. The Georgian Government has not been able to establish effective control over the eastern part of the country. In early October, Georgian authorities extradited 13 Chechen guerrillas to Russia, moving closer to cooperation with Russia. President Shevardnadze in November promised to cooperate with Russia in apprehending Chechen separatist fighters and foreign mujahidin in the Pankisi Gorge—a region in northern Georgia that Russian authorities accuse Georgia of allowing Chechen terrorists to use as a safehaven—if Moscow furnishes T’blisi with concrete information on their whereabouts and alleged wrongdoing. The United States has provided training and other assistance to help Georgian authorities implement tighter counterterrorism controls in problem areas.

    Kidnappings continued to be a problem in Georgia. Two Spanish businessmen who were kidnapped on 30 November 2000 and held near the Pankisi Gorge were released on 8 December 2001. A Japanese journalist was taken hostage in the Pankisi Gorge in August and released on 9 December.