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Georgian diplomats scared by Mistral2010-09-21 18:17
Georgia is utterly concerned over Russian-French talks on the sale of Mistral helicopter carriers. As it is believed in Tbilisi that the coming deal creates threat to both Sakatvelo and the whole of Caucasus. What's the reason for the Georgian leaders' "panic": their care for the region or a desire to wound Russia again?
Purchase of two Mistral ship has been discussed by Russia and France for several months already. Moscow plans to buy the helicopter carriers as a way to modernize outdated equipment that also took part in the five-day war in August 2008.
Not long ago French defense minister Hervé Morin stated that selling Mistral to Russia won't considerably affect the balance of forces between Tbilisi and Moscow, Rosbalt reports. According to him, Russia is not the USSR. "Can we suppose, even just a second, that selling several ships can drastically change the strategic situation between Georgia and Russia?" - the French minister remarked.
Tbilisi does not share France's position. As Nino Kalandadze, the republic's deputy FM minister stated, Russia can use all methods, including new helicopter carriers, for "its imperialist aspirations". The diplomat thinks that the weapon is given to "uncontrolled Russia capable of violating international law". Curiously enough, Tbilisi threatens non-resumption of diplomatic relations with Moscow. Kalandadze made it clear Russia's aggressive rhetoric sounds bad to the Georgian side.
Quite recently though, Georgian FM Grigol Vashadze spoke about readiness to start talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov "right away". "Representatives of our government will start talks with their Russian colleagues any time if desired", - the diplomat remarked.
Why is the republic's ministry of foreign affairs so scared? Is it a statement by Russian Defense Minister that any possible attack from Georgia will be easily rebuffed? I think, Georgia's eloquent diplomats must not rip Serdyukov's words out of the context and use them in their propaganda speeches. What the head of the Defense Ministry said was protection of Abkhazia and South Ossetia from new assaults of "territorially handicapped" Georgia and that the military bases stationed in the Transcaucasian republics are enough to keep the zealous neighbor at bay. "We understand what we should for any further developments. We are not planning to reinforce two Russian bases in the region" - was what the minister said in Washington.
It seems official Tbilisi is used to such techniques. As early as in February Georgian leader Mikheil Saakashvili highlighted that with the new weapons Russia allegedly can invade any state in Eastern Europe in just a few hours (commenting on France's plans to sell Mistral and some armor). "In case the Russian Federation deploys military ships in the Black Sea it might spur confrontation between French ships and NATO forces", - he said. Quite obviously Sakartvelo's leader was projecting his own behavior onto Russia since the blitzkrieg on the republic was his idea.
What reaction should there be to such statements by the Georgian regime? GeorgiaTimes correspondent discussed that with Valery Khomyakov, director general of National Strategy Council.
According to him such rhetoric sounds like more like horror stories. "Bad enough that Saakashvili regime's domestic and foreign policies are interconnected", - Khomyakov noted. - It is clear that the economic situation in Georgia is not perfect, and naturally the Georgian leader keeps presenting Russia as an enemy. This is an ancient trick. Saakashvili is not a pioneer here".