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Saturday, 23 June 2018


Why do the Americans need Georgian ports?

2008-12-31 10:45

On 29th December the nuclear frigate USS Taylor arrived in the Georgian port of Poti. The ship will remain there for a few days.

2/1/1/1211.jpegThe officers and sailors of the ‘Taylor' met with representatives of the city authorities and leaders of the Border Guards, and also took part in cultural events.

As ITAR-TASS reports, no exercises or joint manoeuvres have been planned with the Georgian navy.


However, according to reports by the TV station Rustavi-2, an agreement has been reached between the two parties whereby the ship will control Georgian waters and aerial borders within a radius of 800km.

This is not the first visit by American warships to Georgia's shores. On 22nd November the cruiser USS Barry visited Batumi.

Then at a meeting involving the ship's commanders and US embassy officials, it was remarked that:

"The cruiser has come to Georgia for friendly reasons. The visit was planned long ago - American warships make these visits to Georgian ports several times a year."

However just three days later the vague concepts of "friendliness" and of the visit being "planned" acquired a specific and extremely topical meaning. This was revealed by the Georgian Minister for Reintegration Temur Yakobashvili, who said in an interview with Interfax:

"The US naval ship will have a restraining influence on Russia. There are other factors which Georgia will put into action if there is a real danger of further aggression from Moscow. And we have to expect that this is quite possible. Moscow was unable to achieve its aims in Georgia. Russia is an enraged bear that will try to lash out with its paw or something else, and as always this something will be meant to hit us, since we are like a thorn in their flesh."

Even earlier, on 13th August, the US President George Bush made an official statement that he would send ships carrying humanitarian aid to Georgia. Mikheil Saakashvili commented on this statement the following day in a televised address to the nation, saying that the USA's humanitarian mission "means that American troops will take control of Georgian ports and airports so that they can carry out their humanitarian and other missions for defending the people."

But a harsh "correction" followed from the Pentagon. Reuters quoted the press-secretary of the US Defence Ministry Geoff Morrell: "We have no intention and see no need to take control of any ports or airports in order to carry out this mission".

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