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Who needs Vaziani maneuvers?2009-05-13 14:50
An active stage of NATO Cooperative Longbow 09/Cooperative Lancer 09 exercises has begun in Georgia. The opening ceremony of multi-national military maneuvers was held on May 11.
"These exercises will promote Georgia's efficiency in the system of international security, - Georgia's Defense Minister David Sikharulidze is quoted by News Georgia. - We must pursue the country's defense reforms and protect the territory of Georgia".
Vice Prime Minister Georgy Baramidze revoiced the words of Sikharulidze saying: "Current military maneuvers reconfirm our Western partners' support for Georgia. The exercises will contribute to consolidation of peace and stability in Georgia. Besides they do not create problems for any countries, especially Russia". The fact that the NATO exercises were meant "for peace and stability" was repeated at the ceremony by the Commander of NATO HQ in Madrid Gaetano Miro Vols.
Thus at the opening ceremony of the military maneuvers Georgia and NATO representatives were saying the same things as if on arrangement repeating that Georgia considered the exercises as another professional level test for its armed forces on the way to the integration into the bloc and the North Atlantic Alliance advocated peace in the whole world and thanked Tbilisi for hospitality.
Curiously enough the alliance keeps choosing ex Soviet republics as its training arena. Last year the similar exercises were held in Armenia, this spring Azerbaijan welcomed the alliance representatives under the auspices of Regional Response-2009. A response to whom, one may naturally ask. Clearly in documents this is all about peacekeeping operations against acts of international terrorism though the receiving parties are all Russia's neighbors. That is why the courageous speeches of NATO officers on preservation of stability seem to be a kind of shield the true motives of the exercises are hidden behind. In particular it's moderation of Russia's traditional influence in South Caucasus. And the fact that current exercises are taking place against the background of internal political crisis in Georgia and continuous provocations on the borders with Abkhazia and South Ossetia is per se indicative.
By the way recently German Foreign Ministry - an active NATO member - came forward with severe criticism of military maneuvers in shaky Georgia.