“We need refugee centers outside the European Union, which would be managed jointly with the UNHCR, UN Refugee Agency. Their location is not so important. It is important that they will provide protection, and that people, trying to enter Europe illegally, will be returned there,” – said Sebastian Kurz, Austrian Foreign Minister to Bild am Sonntag newspaper. Kurz suggested setting refugee centers outside the EU, for example in Georgia, Western Balkans and Egypt.
Russian mass-media became immediately alert over the plans to outsource refugee camps to Georgia. Kremlin will certainly disagree with Kurz, that the ‘location is unimportant’ – the de-localization of the multitudes of migrants and refugees to Caucasus will raise security risks at Russia’s borders.
The Islamic State (IS) has already created a special brigade for organizing terroristic acts in Europe, Central Asia and North Caucasus. Georgia is of a high interest for jihadi fighters as a transit country, to serve as a platform for further activities in Europe. The Georgian newspaper ‘Resonanci’ did not exclude organisation of the terroristic acts on its own territory.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said (26.01.2017) the Islamic State is using the Pankissi Valley (historically with Chechen population) in Georgia for training of the IS fighters. Experts pointed out at a special interest of IS in Chechen fighters, who have solid combat operations experience, and can be used as an avant guard in conquering the Caucasus by Islamic State. Reportedly 500 Georgians joined IS, however exact figures are unknown. Georgia serves also as an important transit corridor from IS to terroristic groups in Afghanistan.