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Tbilisi urges Moscow to mind its own business

By Temuri Kiguradze
Wednesday, November 11
The Georgian Foreign Ministry has responded to Russia’s statement on the increase of US military support to Georgia, which according to the Kremlin signifies that Georgia is “preparing aggression”.

“Rather than making comments on our relations with other countries, Russia would do better to try to comply with its international obligations, abandon its policy of instituting an uncontrolled military build-up on the occupied territories of Georgia, respect the universally-recognised norms and principles of international law, in particular the six-point ceasefire agreement, and withdraw its occupation troops from the occupied territories of Georgia in compliance with this agreement,” the Ministry’s special statement published on November 10 says.

The statement was made in response to allegations by Moscow officials that Georgia is preparing to purchase USD 100 million worth of military equipment from the USA. According to the Russians this “deal” will include the purchasing of “Patriot” air defence systems.

“We have some alerting signals that Georgia has not abandoned its plans to regain South Ossetia and Abkhazia by force. It is trying to create military advance posts on the territories close to the borders of Abkhazia and South Ossetia,” stated Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin on November 9. Karasin also noted that these allegations will be a matter of discussion at the upcoming international talks in Geneva.

“The Russian side will demand the signing of an international document which will ensure the non-use of force between Georgia and South Ossetia and Georgia and Abkhazia. However this situation is problematic because of the unwillingness of certain participants [of the Geneva discussions] to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia as a possible side for the signing of such a document,” stated the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, adding that Russia has recognised the independence of the Georgian breakaway regions with the intention of “providing normal living conditions for the citizens of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.”

This statement was also responded to by the Georgian Foreign Ministry, which stated that “the international community is well aware of the possible concrete implications of the Russian statement, coming from a side which has conducted military aggression and intervention, an occupation of the territory of another sovereign country and the creation of proxy regimes as a result of ethnic cleansing, conducted as a main instrument of its foreign policy.”

The Georgian side rejected the possibility of starting military actions of its own against Russian troops and separatists on Georgian territory and at the same time noted that the increase in the number of Russian accusation against Georgia can be considered as a preparation of its own for another military conflict in Georgia. “The aforesaid gives us sufficient grounds to take a closer look at the anti-Georgian campaign being conducted by the Russian side, which is very similar to "propaganda support" for the possibility of yet another military aggression,” states the Ministry.

Speaking on the day on which a Georgian delegation arrived in Geneva to participate in the talks on resolving the conflicts on Georgian territory, the Ministry spokesperson expressed the hope that “the international community is perfectly aware of the consequences that such a misleading and aggressive policy by Russia may entail. Against this background the international community should no longer have any doubt about the source wherefrom a real threat is emanating, not only to Georgia but to Europe and European security as a whole.”