Tbilisi: “In their sights”

The Messenger, Georgia
Feb 4 2005

“In their sights”

According to the Russian newspaper Gazeta SNG, an Azeri-Georgian
agreement regarding the prohibition of cargo delivery to Armenia is
directed not against the transportation of illegal foreign goods into
Armenia, but toward further isolating the nation from Russia.
The paper also refers to the “Carpathian Declaration” signed recently
between Ukraine and Georgia, which is directed at the expansion of
the GUUAM alliance (Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and
Moldavia) with the aim to attract Poland and Turkey-NATO members-to
this bloc.
The paper writes that the situation is aggravated by the fact that
Russian military bases in Armenia are isolated from the Russian
Federation because there is no agreement regarding the transit of
soldiers and military materials between Russia and Georgia.
According to Gazeta SNG, such transport cannot take place through
either Azerbaijan or Turkey. “Though, everything can be implemented
though Iran, within the framework of a binding Soviet-Iranian
agreement regarding friendship and cooperation, but this way is more
hypothetical than practical given the long distance,” the paper
According to Gazeta SNG, it is possible that the aggravation of the
relations of the Russian Federation with Georgia and Azerbaijan
because of the mentioned agreement is part of a plan to lay the
groundwork for American-Israeli military actions against Iran.
Russia’s response to the agreement may be to increase its military
presence in Armenia and the Caspian Basin, while in Tbilisi and Baku
this certainly will be perceived as a threat to national security and
be followed by the United States and NATO increasing their military
presence in the Caucasus and Turkey.
This will complicate Moscow’s relations with Ukraine and South
Caucasian countries, the paper states. The Russian Federation has no
reliable military-political allies in this region aside from Armenia.
“In any case, the Russian leadership is not about to risk developing
the military sector of the relations with Iran and Turkmenistan at
the present time,” the paper writes.