Georgia Protests Russian Military Drills In North Caucasus


RIA Novosti
July 16, 2008

Russia’s large-scale military exercises in the North Caucasus is
another manifestation of aggression against Tbilisi, the Georgian
Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

The exercise, dubbed Caucasus Frontier 2008, entered its active stage
Tuesday and involves units of the North Caucasus Military District,
mainly the 58th Army, the 4th Air Force Army, Interior Ministry troops,
and border guards.

The ministry criticized earlier statements by Col. Gen. Sergei
Makarov, the commander of Russia’s North Caucasus Military District,
who said that among other things the troops would practice assistance
to Russian peacekeepers stationed in Georgia’s separatist Abkhazia
and South Ossetia regions.

"The statements made by the Russian Defense Ministry and high-ranking
military officials can be regarded only as a direct threat of military
intervention and aggression against a sovereign state," the ministry
said in a statement.

The statement added that Tbilisi "insistently calls on Russia to
restrain from irresponsible statements and put an end to aggressive
politics aimed against Georgia."

Lt. Col. Andrei Bobrun, an aide to the North Caucasus Military District
commander, said earlier that the main aim of the exercises was to
practice interoperability between federal troops, Interior Ministry
troops, border guards, and the Air Force in special operations against
militants and in the defense of Russia’s international borders.

Georgia together with the United States also began large-scale
military exercises Tuesday, Immediate Response 2008, near its capital
of Tbilisi.

A total of 1,650 personnel, including troops from Armenia, Azerbaijan
and Ukraine, are taking part in the $8 million drills, planned by the
U.S. Armed Forces European Command and financed by the U.S. Defense

Relations between Russia and Georgia plunged to a new low recently
against the backdrop of violence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which
broke away from Tbilisi in the early 1990s. Russian support for the
separatist republics and Georgia’s bid to join NATO have exacerbated
the tension.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS