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Déjà vu: NATO back to equipping Georgia2010-10-25 12:44
Despite statements on fruitful cooperation with Russia in future made by NATO representatives the North Atlantic alliance does not abandon Georgia, its foothold in South Caucasus. Recently the Trust Fund Project was presented in the republic. The word "trust" is used in a curious context: the idea is to disable ammunition left after August 2008 and provide help to the engineer battalion of Georgian armed forces.
This week all news agencies of the world were quoting Philip Gordon, US Assistant Secretary of State for Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs speaking that it was time to take Moscow-NATO relations to a qualitatively new level and broaden cooperation. "We want Russia to get closer to NATO, - the diplomat remarks. - Despite some differences over a number of issues including Georgia there is no sound reason to stop building up RF-NATO cooperation". But, as it turns out, cajoling Russia into coming to Lisbon summit, the alliance is not going to shelve the Georgian question.
According to official information NATO's Trust Fund in Georgia will cost the alliance almost EUR 3 bln. Curiously enough, NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency is assigned to assist Georgian military engineers. David Towndrow in charge of the project has already promised that the instructors will help Georgians rise to the level of competence sufficient for participation in international peacekeeping operations.
This is not all. The project envisages creation of a medical rehabilitation center in Gori, RBC reports. As expected, the center will host explosion casualties as well as war-injured persons (!)
What war is meant here? Suppose NATO wants to take care of Georgian peacekeepers wounded in Afghanistan. As known, there are 1,000 Sakartvelo soldiers now fighting against the world's evil in Kabul and Kandahar. Three of them have paid a high price for it: not long ago Colonel Ramaz Gogiashvili, Sergeant David Tsetskhladze, corporals Georgy Kolkhitashvili and Nugzar Kalandadze exploded on a mine in action. If the North Atlantic Alliance decided to train Georgian sappers out of guilt, it looks like hypocrisy - at least.
The point is that before going to Afghanistan all peacekeepers take a special course developed by US Marine Corps responsible for survivability of the international military contingent. So, dear sirs, have you made a mistake?
Dropping all speculations on Georgian sappers involved in NATO affairs there is only one war coming to mind - a war with Russia. Tbilisi's continued repetitions that Russian soldiers might hit Sakartvelo any time are not incidental. It seems that even pull-out of the border guard unit from Perevi village won't make the Georgian side to change their tune. Or stop using an imaginary threat to attract attention of their partners. Pseudo-tensions in Caucasus have been there for a long time actively taken advantage of by the leaders of the state that willfully refuses to sign a non-aggression treaty with Abkhazia and South Ossetia. All that in contradiction to French president Nicolas Sarkozy's recommendations that Georgia should undertake international guarantees of peace support in Caucasus.
By the way, Tbilisi's obstinacy is becoming a serious concern for Transcaucasian republics. According to Defense minister of South Ossetia Valery Yakhnovets, there are no guarantees that Georgian leaders won't launch a new military aggression. "We can't exclude that Georgia will attack South Ossetia again even with a serious screen provided by Russian border guard troops", - he stated. - In 2008 everyone thought there will be no shooting or killing of peacekeepers. Still, we witnessed different things after all".