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Pentagon will provide “non-murderous” assistance to Georgia2009-08-17 15:08
A year after the August events, the US will again start training the Georgian soldiers. As Washington explains, the exercises are included into the plan of training those servicemen who will soon go to Afghanistan. Today, the first group of five foreign instructors arrived to Georgia (totally, there will be 85 of them). Moscow has taken this news without particular enthusiasm, for the Pentagon initiatives may be interpreted as a suitable context for resuming the training exercises for the Georgian armed forces.
"Georgia wants to become part of international forces in Afghanistan, - Reuters is quoting Pentagon's official representative Jeff Morrel. - And we just want to help it get properly trained". According to him, the military exercises are not aimed at training the Georgian servicemen for the purposes of domestic defense. "Before taking such a decision, we have consulted the Russian party as to this program in order to avoid any misunderstanding, - Morel underlined. - We were open with our Russian colleagues in respect of what we are doing".
Indeed, Washington did not try to conceal its plans. Former Deputy Advisor to the Secretary of State Matthew Bryza, who was assigned the US Ambassador to Azerbaijan and has recently visited the Georgian capital, noted: "We will help and train those of the Georgian soldiers who are going to stake their lives to defend our common strategic interests and common values, - IA Regnum is quoting. - This plan in no way implies locating much armament in Georgia". Besides, he also noted that Washington is going to supply such equipment to Tbilisi that the Georgian forces will need in Afghanistan, and "is not going to supply weapons to Georgia", Gazeta.ru reports.
Later on, this information was confirmed by the US Assistant Secretary of Defense Alexander Vershbow, though he did it in a rather vague manner. "Of course, one should leave open any possibilities from the viewpoint of the long-term perspective; still, our assistance in the nearest future will be focused upon military help that cannot be characterized as murderous", - Interfax is quoting.
In their attempt to calm down Russia, the US, however, do not share Moscow's idea of imposing embargo upon arms supply to Georgia. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Gordon underlined that, like any other country, Georgia has got the right for self-defense, and Washington has got long-term relationship in the sphere of security with Tbilisi. According to Gordon, it is focused upon the military education and military doctrine programs.
Meanwhile, Moscow has got no illusions as to the American-Georgian anti-terrorist idea. Deputy Head of MFA of Russia Grigori Karasin has recently stated that they are "arming the unpredictable regime again" at the RF borders in the Caucasus, saying that it is allegedly needed to strengthen the young Georgian democracy", Interfax reports. "For the sake of the Georgian democracy and people, Georgia should not be armed at all", - Karasin believes. In his opinion, it is Washington that plays the leading role in "re-equipping the Georgian military machine". "As to the non-supply of heavy offensive arms, the line between the offensive and defensive arms is rather relative, - Karasin says. - We are also told that the military cooperation will be limited by providing assistance to the army reform and personnel training. Well, let us see how things are going to be in practice".
The diplomat promised that Russia will take relevant actions in respect of the current situation and will purposefully prevent any weapons supply to Tbilisi.