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No weapons from strategic partner

By Messenger Staff
Friday, January 21
After the Obama-Saakashvili meeting in Washington, the Russian media disseminated information that the Georgian side had asked the US to supply it with arms. The Pentagon officially denied the speculation and the Georgian foreign ministry stated that this issue was not raised during the meeting.

After the August 2008 invasion of Georgia, Russia asked the international community to impose an embargo on providing Georgia with arms. The US officially stated that there is no international embargo on providing Georgia with arms but on the other hand, the US refrains from supplying Georgia with requested defence armaments. Last June, Philip Gordon from the US State department officially stated that there is no embargo on arms supply for Georgia, on the other hand he added that selling arms is not the way to solve the problems in Georgia. The official US position is detention of the tension. It wants Russia to fulfill the commitments taken in the August 12, 2008 agreement signed by the Russian President Medvedev and French President Sarkozy.

Georgian FM Grigol Vashadze called the situation a silent embargo when Georgiaís strategic partner denies that an embargo exists but refrains from selling its arms. Some Georgian analysts think that there was a deal between USA and Russia. USA would not provide Georgia with arms and, in return, Russia would not attack Georgia again.

It is interesting that wikileaks published the letter in which former US ambassador to Georgia John Teft provided arguments as to why Georgia needs extra defensive weapons. Georgian military analysts today also think that Georgia needs defence weapons as the country cannot rely exclusively on political guarantees. It needs a combination of both so that political guarantees should be in compliance with the ability of the country to defend itself. Some American politicians also think that USA should be more active in providing Georgia with defensive systems. In particular, there is active senator John McCain, who thinks that the US should sell defence systems to Georgia and that the situation should be changed.

As Russian newspaper Commersant reports, during the meeting with President Obama, President Saakashvili handed to the US side a sizeable report which listed arguments that Tbilisi needs anti aircraft and anti tank defence weapons. So, the issue could not have been discussed immediately and thatís why the US president ordered the Security Council to study the issues raised by the Georgian side and prepare an appropriate conclusion.