Presidential Envoy to Russia's North Caucasus Federal District Alexander Khloponin© RIA Novosti. Alexei Druzhinin
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Presidential Envoy to Russia's North Caucasus Federal District Alexander Khloponin suggested on Monday suspending the reception of tourists near Mt. Elbrus during counter-terrorism operations.
Over the weekend unidentified assailants opened fire on a van carrying Moscow tourists to the Mt. Elbrus area, a famous ski resort in Kabardino-Balkaria. Three people, including a woman, were killed and two others were injured.
A cable car used to carry skiers up the slopes of Mt. Elbrus was hit by an explosion on Friday evening as well, bringing the ski lifts to a halt after the cables and 40 cabins crashed to the ground. No one was injured in the incident.
Police also defused three bombs found in a car near a hotel at the foot of Mt. Cheget, another ski resort in the republic.
"It's no vacation when [anti-terrorism] operations are being conducted. Recall them [tourists], take a break, don't bring in new tourists," Khloponin told representatives of tourist resorts in the region.
Russia has imposed a counter-terrorism regime in two areas of the North Caucasus Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria. The regime covers all towns and villages of the Elbrus district, including the town of Tyrnyauz, nine villages and part of the Baksansky district of the republic as well as four villages where increased terrorist activities have been registered.
TYRNYAUZ (Kabardino-Balkaria), February 21 (RIA Novosti)
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.