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Armenia's refusal

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, September 5
An Armenian delegation has not arrived in Georgia to take part in the annual NATO-backed military training Agile Spirit.

The information was released by the Armenian news agency, which says that the Ministry of Defense of Armenia has not made any official comments over their decision yet.

Agile Spirit 2017 was launched at Georgia’s Orpolo firing range near Akhaltsikhe, southern Georgia, on September 3.

Servicemen from the United States (US), Bulgaria, Latvia, Romania, Azerbaijan and Ukraine are taking part in the drills. Armenia was also on the list of participants, but the decision was changed just when the training started.

The Ministry of Defense of Georgia (MoD) has not also made a comment over the absence of the Armenian troops.

The exercise will be concluded on September 11 and it includes command and staff training scenarios. Around 1500 servicemen are taking part in the training.

The MoD of Georgia stated that the drills are led by the General Staff of the Georgian Armed Forces (GAF) and the US Marine Corps.

“The exercise will see participants train their interoperability, support regional security and improve operational skills,” the ministry stated.

The Agile Spirit drills were first held in 2011 and in a bilateral format between the US and Georgia, but since 2015 the exercises have become multi-national.

The drills were opened by the President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, Defense Minister Levan Izoria and commander of the GAF, Vladimer Chachibaia.

At the end of the ceremony, an exhibition of the military equipment used during the drills was arranged, and a concert was held for the servicemen with the participation of Georgian singers.

On July 30 2017,Georgia’s Vaziani military base and Camp Norio hosted the Noble Partner 2017 drills led by the United States (US) and Europe.