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De Facto Abkhazia: Noble Partner Drills in Georgia Pose Threat to Regional Security

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, August 3
De facto Foreign Ministry of Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia, backed by the Russian Federation, has expressed concern over the multinational military drills Noble Partner 2018, led by Georgia and the US, which started in Vaziani and Camp Norio Training Areas in Georgia on August 1.

“The coalition politics of Western countries can lead to a new wave of tension in the region and seriously damages the existing international format aimed at regulating conflict with Georgia,” de facto ministry stressed.

Breakaway Abkhazia believes that such military actions are carried out with immediate support and financing from the USA and the West, which aim at Georgia’s militarization process.

“The continuous increase of Georgia's military-technical potential poses a threat to the national security of Abkhazia and undermines the bases of peace and stability in the South Caucasus region,” the so called ministry stated.

In its statement, the de facto MFA assigns all responsibility for the possible escalation of tensions in the region to Georgia and its western partners.

“As a symmetrical response to the destructive actions of Georgia and its Western partners, the Abkhaz side intends to intensify military-technological cooperation with the Russian Federation to ensure the defense and security of the Republic of Abkhazia,” the occupation regime stressed.

This year the drills will last until August 15, and they involve 1300 Georgians and 1170 US soldiers, as well as 500 soldiers from 13 other countries: Georgia, USA, UK, Germany, Estonia, France, Lithuania, Poland, Norway, Turkey, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Armenia.

Georgian MOD reports that the goal of the multinational military exercise is to improve skills in stability, defensive and offensive operations, increase interoperability between the armed forces of participating countries and contribute to the security of the Black Sea region. The motto of the military exercise is “Strength Is in Partnership.”

The exercise is complex, and its scenario involves command and staff and field exercises with live fire, coordination of the maneuver and combat support elements in defensive and offensive operations.

Minister of Defense of Georgia Levan Izoria underscored the importance of international exercises in his speech delivered at the opening ceremony.

“Alongside with the defense of common values and providing regional security, strengthening global security is the milestone of our partnership. Such exercises have the greatest importance for Georgia and the whole region, which, together with deepening cooperation and enhancing the capabilities of the armed forces, gets us closer to NATO standards”, he said.

According to Levan Izoria, since 2015, the United States and Georgia annually conduct one of the largest multinational exercises, which is part of 17 practices in the Black Sea Region organized by the US European Command.

“The cycle of exercises is conducted in 7 countries of the Black Sea Region, involving up to 40.000 troops of NATO member and partner countries. Georgian military personnel have already participated in international exercises “DYNAMIC FRONT”, “COMBINED RESOLVE” and “SEA BREEZE” conducted in Germany and Ukraine, while in August and September they will take part in 4 international exercises in Germany, Bulgaria, Romania, and Ukraine, which are: “PLATINUM LION”; “PLATINUM EAGLE”; “RAPID TRIDENT” and “SABER JUNCTION”,” he added.