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Latent threats and demonstrative concessions2009-02-06 15:24
As stated by NATO Spokesman James Appathurai at the NATO-Georgia Commission's meeting on February 4 the Alliance came forward with the criticism of projected military bases in Abkhazia.
"NATO expresses concern on a possibility of Russian bases deployment, - "Kavkazsky Uzel is quoting Appathurai - as it seems to be in violation of Georgia's territorial integrity".
Georgia's excitement in Brussels is connected with Russian-Abkhazian plans to build a base for ground forces in Gudauta as well as to reconstruct formed Soviet military facilities in Ochamchir and Bombora.
According to Vzglyad newspaper with reference to BBC Georgia's Foreign Ministry called on the world community to "pay due attention to Russia's militaristic aspirations and disallow triumph of force over democracy and international law". And more: "Considering lack of international control in the Georgian territories occupied by Russia the Russian Federation seizes any opportunity to enhance its military potential in this region".
Here comes the question: why is Tbilisi so concerned about Russia's "militaristic aspirations" right now? Abkhazia never concealed its intentions to pursue military cooperation with Moscow. As early as last November the republic's Foreign Minister Sergey Shamba said: "We propose that the Russian Federation establish a base not only for ground forces but for naval too. We are surely interested in Russia's taking this decision".
And following the ratification of Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between the two states in December the preparation of two dozen various agreements began. Among them is elaboration of project of the deployment of Russian troops in Gudauta and Kodory Gorge aimed at solid protection of the Abkhazian state border.
Maybe the thing is that not long ago, late in January there was information on construction of the Russian naval base in Bombora? And the Georgian authorities who have great doubts on its purely protective purpose (to defend the Abkhazian sky) got really alarmed?
Though everything seems to be quite clear. It is sufficient to recall Russia's Deputy Minister Alexander Grushko's comment made on February 1: "Russia's armed forces provide for peace and stability in the region and guarantee that the events of August 2008 leading to grave humanitarian consequences will not be repeated".
He also made quite an appropriate remark: the parameters and conditions of future Russian presence will be stipulated in separate agreements "in compliance with the international principle of the receiving state's accord".