Comment by the Information and Press Department on US-Georgia military exercises

May 6, 2016

We paid attention to the large-scale preparations for Noble Partner 2016 US-Georgia military exercises that are to take place on May 11-26. Their declared goal is to train the Georgian Army for participation in the NATO Response Force and enhance Georgia’s territorial self-defence capability. The drills will include deployment of NATO member-states’ combat equipment in Georgia. Last year, infantry combat vehicles were deployed and now Abrams tanks have also been delivered by ferry from Bulgaria.

We regard this ongoing “exploration” of Georgia’s territory by NATO forces as a provocative step aimed at escalating the military and political situation in the South Caucasus. To a large extent, this is encouraged by Washington’s and its allies’ open connivance at Tbilisi’s revanchist ambitions.

The latest evidence of this was the recent public remarks by David Usupashvili, the Speaker of the Georgian Parliament, who said that “while part of the country’s territory is occupied, the mission of the Georgian armed forces remains unfulfilled.” The Speaker believes that the key to fulfilling the mission is not only “the heroism of Georgian soldiers and officers” but also assistance from its partners, NATO member-states.

We would like to understand the meaning of these statements. Incidentally, they were made on May 4, the very day when US tanks were unloaded at the Poti sea port.