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Vashadze scares Russia with an American base2009-03-13 13:32
South Ossetia is ready to grant land for deployment of Russian military bases for 99 years. It was stated by President Edward Kokoyty on March 11. In reply official Tbilisi invited Americans to deploy their bases in Georgia.
"The presidium of the government of South Ossetia decided to concede territory to install Russian border guard bases in the republic for 99 years; - South Ossetian president is quoted by Interfax. - Territory for the creation of military bases will be conceded, I think, for the same time period. But the last word in this issue is up to the parliament of South Ossetia". Edward Kokoyty expressed hope that agreements on Russian bases would be signed as quickly as possible. "I would like to emphasize there is no controversy between Tskhinval and Moscow in matters of reconstruction of the republic affected by the Georgian aggression. There isn't and will never be any", - he concluded.
Tbilisi was quick to react to Tskhinval's projects. "The agreement between South Ossetia and Russia will be cancelled by the world community", - Kavkazsky uzel is quoting Georgia's State Minister for Reintegration Temur Yakobashvili. - Tbilisi will take all necessary measures to prevent deployment of any Russian military bases in the Georgian territory". Moreover, according to Yakobashvili, the Kremlin "does not take Kokoyty's words seriously". For some reason the minister did not mention a similar agreement signed between Moscow and Sukhum. Generally speaking, the minister's speech was not totally consistent.
Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze outdid his compatriot with rhetoric. "Georgia is ready to consider the issue of deployment of a US military base in the territory of the country in case such a proposal is expressed by Washington", - he is quoted by ITAR-TASS. At the same time Vashadze was forced to remark that presently Tbilisi was not holding consultations with Washington on that issue.
The sensational phrase of Georgia's Foreign Minister is apparently his reply to the South Ossetian leader. It is hard to believe that Washington that decided to "reboot" American-Russian relations has ever given a hint at such a possibility to official Tbilisi. It is sufficient to recall the words of US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Bryza in his interview with Interfax in February: "We have no plans to deploy such bases in Georgia".
As for Russian troops in South Caucasus the elaboration and adoption of documents that legalize their presence there became possible due to the Treaties on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance between Russia, South Ossetia and Abkhazia that were executed last autumn by the country leaders.