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No fear of Mistral as decided2010-03-03 23:04
Tbilisi puts up with Russia's prearranged purchase of Mistral helicopter carrier. In a matter when commercial interests and strengthening ties between the West and Eurasia's largest country are concerned any protests are out of place.
Today Georgia's diaspora of France reiterated December's statement condemning France's plan to pursue arms cooperation with Russia.
French Georgians consider Russian leaders as unworthy of the trust Nicolas Sarkozy offers referring to Medvedev-Sarkozy scheme stipulating withdrawal of Russian troops to pre-August 8 2008 positions. According to them Russia violates the ceasefire agreement bringing more troops to Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The fact of recognition of these countries as independent is condemned by default.
The diaspora (led by oppositional Salome Zurabishvili's brother) calls sale of Mistral ships a "signal" that "pushes Russia to invading neighboring states in the Soviet style".
A number of politicians and experts think of the Russian-French deal more or less in the same way. However recently the tonality of statement has changed and there is some common sense breaking through hysterical protests.
Recently when Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev was holding talks with Sarkozy, Temur Yakobashivili, Georgia's minister for reintegration acknowledged disability of Georgian diplomats to hinder the process.
According to the minister Tbilisi can only look to protection of its own interests when the treaty is signed, GHN reports. "The interests include: firstly it's Georgia's rapid integration into NATO, secondly it's the right to buy defensive weapons. We must be granted the right to protect ourselves, and no one must be surprised at the fact if Russia buys Mistral", - the minister stated.
In simple terms the Georgian official suggested taking advantage of the helicopter carrier sale to Russia for Georgia's benefit: as an excuse for suppliers of arms to that country acknowledged guilty of escalation of the conflict in South Ossetia in 2008 by the European Commission.
The position of President Mikheil Saakashvili has changed too. Formerly he was tough on France's nonchalance particularly in terms of sale of armor. "With the help of France's armored equipment that surpasses analogues in Russia's current inventory Russia will be able to invade any state of Eastern Europe within a few hours", - he warned.