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Nakhvamdis, arms?07.08.2010 | 00:47
Moscow keeps insisting that the international community should refrain from supplying arms to Georgia. Russian diplomats are certain: as soon as the world came to know the truth about the August 2008 events, many of Saakashvili's partners analyzed the Georgian leaders' policy and admitted the committed mistake.
At the same time, the arms embargo might also be triggered by Russian security officials' data saying that Sakartvelo has not given up the attempts to forcibly bring back Abkhazia and South Ossetia under its "caring" wing and is getting ready for another offensive operation. Will Georgia's friends take these arguments into account?
For the first time, Russia raised the issue of arms supply to Tbilisi before the international community at UN Security Council two years ago. The draft resolution implied an absolute embargo on military materials supply, as well as on provision of any assistance, consultations or preparation related to military activities in the republic.
"Georgia's current leadership has drawn no lessons from what happened and those who have been actively supplying arms to this county within the past several years never reproved the Georgian government; neither did they criticize it for the aggression in South Ossetia", - RF Permanent Representative in UN Vitaliy Churkin said then.
However, Mikhail Saakashvili's friends turned a deaf ear to Russia's initiative. Kiev stated directly that arms would be procured in full volume unless there was a real embargo in respect of Georgia. Tel-Aviv remained discreetly silent, while Washington continued sending its military instructors to Tbilisi.
Today, on the threshold of the second anniversary of the August events, Russia is making another attempt to persuade the world to stop providing military assistance to Saakashvili's unstable and aggressive regime. GeorgiaTimes correspondent discussed the matter with Russian experts and political analysts.
Eugeny Minchenko, director for International Institute of Political Expertise: I believe Georgian partners will not listen to Russia's initiative. I talked to one of the British high-ranking diplomats recently and I asked him: "What is your attitude toward Georgia's militarization?" And he answered: "There is no militarization; we do not see any". I suppose these arguments will be turned down flat, for they see nothing and they do not want to see anything.
Anatoliy Tsiganok, head of Military Forecast Center at Political and Military Analysis Institute: I believe Georgia's partners will not support the idea of arms embargo. Two years ago Russia came out with the same initiative but was never listened to. I may say that now Tbilisi is getting ready for another operation, not only for an attack, by the way, but for further defense. So, we can say the Georgians have increased their army's combat readiness.
Sergey Mikheev, Deputy Director General for Center for Political Technologies Foundation: I believe, in this case, the appeal is addressed to Israel, which is Georgia's main arms supplier. This country has been taking an active part in arms procurement of late, as well as in the old Soviet weapons improvement. However, it is difficult to say whether they are going to pay attention to it. They did not until today, although Israeli knew perfectly well about Russia and Georgia's relationship and knew that Tbilisi could undertake armed provocation in respect of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. However, they continued supplying them with equipment and upgrading their planes. Now that the climax of the conflict is over, one should hardly expect them to rush to wind down their programs. I think they do it quite often for commercial reasons. One should not disregard the fact that the United States are also helping Georgia through Israel. For them, arming Saakashvili directly means negatively affect the geopolitical situation. So, virtually, the money is shifted from one pocket into another.
Is there a prospect that Georgia's partners will give up procuring arms to the republic in the nearest future?
Minchenko: Arms suppliers' main purpose is to earn money, so those involved in the arms business do not bother much about all this noise about aggression. There is a whole list of countries that basically do not alter their position. I do not think, for instance, that Israel will change its mind: it has got a well-diversified scheme that is not likely to change. As for Ukraine, I believe, it will all be stopped soon for political reasons.
Tsiganok: There is such a prospect. Israel, for example, should better not quarrel with Russia, for Russia has got a considerable weight in the Near East. The same is about Turkey, I believe. In Ukraine, the situation has already changed drastically and Kiev and Moscow's relations have much improved.