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Tbilisi again needs the bogey of an external threat2009-02-26 09:23
On February 23 Georgia's Foreign Ministry came forward with an official statement of possible military aggression from Russia. The assumptions are supported by the rumors about Russia enhancing its military force on the border with the republic.
According to the author of the statement - the head of international organizations department at Georgia's Foreign Ministry Sergi Kapanadze, - currently there are over seven thousand Russian servicemen concentrated in "conflict regions" and five military bases are under construction. "At this stage there is no mechanism that would stop Russian military aggression", - his words are quoted by Rosbalt.
Russian side disproved Kapanadze's information. The Chief of Abkhazian Joint Staff Anatoly Zaitsev reported on 3700 Russian servicemen currently stationed in the republic "and not a soldier more", as Interfax informs. By the way they are deployed there in compliance with the Russian-Abkhazian treaty on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance. Anatoly Zaitsev pointed out that "lately there has been rotation in the Russian squadron stationed in Galsky district of Abkhazia". Probably this triggered Tbilisi's buzzing. Apparently the Georgian "agitprop" forgets that the Russian troops are in Abkhazia on an official basis as requested by Sukhum in order to prevent a new Georgian aggression against the young republic.
Though probably it is not a problem of bad memory. The authorities have a serious fear of the "spring offensive" announced by the opposition. The Georgians are disillusioned with the current regime. The opposition presents numerous ultimatums to the president urging to schedule a referendum on early elections or even resign before April 9. Otherwise the republic must get prepared for protest actions. That is why the attempt of the authorities to direct people's minds to other problems is a classic political trick.
It is discussed in Georgia too. According to Paata Zakareishvili, a politologist, the information on a possibility of a Georgian-Russian war is distributed by official Tbilisi in order to avoid spring protests.
"All this is done to prevent people from going out in the street, - GHN is quoting. - The war won't start in two weeks. It must have its preconditions". According to Zakareshvili now there are no grounds for the war to start.
This looks logical. Though this winter Russia has an important role in South Caucasus all its steps - whether it be joint border control or fitting-out of a port or an air base - are stipulated by specific agreements and are within their framework.