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Moscow disappointed at NATO decisions2009-04-20 21:00
NATO is not going to cancel the exercises scheduled for May in the territory of Georgia. Moreover, the North Atlantic Alliance was cynical enough to invite Russia to be a participant.
"Exercises in Georgia were planned and announced long ago, - an unnamed NATO official is quoted by Euronews. - Georgia made a proposal and it was accepted. Though the exercises are to start quite soon I emphasize that any Partnership for Peace member state including Russia can take part in it". In its turn the USA Defense Spokesman Bryan Whitman underlined that Russia's never been particularly fond of NATO exercises", - PRIME TASS reports.
The Russian side rejected the invitation. According to a source in the Russian MFA Information and Press Department: "Russia's negative attitude to these exercises is well known. How can we talk about our participation then?" - RBC reports.
It will be remembered on April 16 the head of Russian Foreign Ministry Sergey Lavrov and Russia's Plenipotentiary to NATO Dmitry Rogozin condemned the alliance's plans calling on the organization to abandon its intentions.
Lavrov expressed hope that in planning further interaction with Georgia within Partnership for Peace program the NATO member states will avoid steps that might push the Georgian side to a feeling of permissiveness and impunity, RIA Novosti reported. "A demonstration of NATO's complicity with the Georgian regime is unlikely to be a good signal for those who honestly want stability in the Caucasus".
Rogozin was more categorical. In his view holding exercises near Russian borders will do no good to outlined reset in NATO-Russia relations and besides it is intervention into Georgia's internal affairs and support for the current authorities.
On April 17 it was President Dmitry Medvedev who made comments. "If we talk about Russia's relations with the North Atlantic Alliance such decisions are disappointing and do not facilitate the resumption of full-scale contacts between the Russian Federation and NATO", - RIA Novosti quotes his words. - We will follow what happens there in the most thorough manner". According to him NATO plans will not add positive emotions to the people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as this is sheer military demonstration, "muscle flexing, the build-up of military component, and in a rather tense situation like we are having now this decision seems to be shortsighted and unpartner-like".
By way of example the Russian president suggested thinking about the consequences of such exercises in the regions of higher tension - in the Middle East or near North Korea.