Iskander to tame Georgia27.09.2011 | 14:04
Georgia is seized with a new fit of hysteria over Russia's military presence in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Official Tbilisi views ratification of agreements with the Transcaucasian republics on united bases as "illegal actions" aimed at "militarization of occupied territories of Georgia". Experts beat the alarm over Russia's reinforced military positions in South Caucasus. Moscow does not react to these malignant comments warning Saakashvili that if Georgia continues weapanization, Iskander-M missile complexes will appear in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. GeorgiaTimes correspondent discusses prospects of such deployment with Igor Korotchenko, a member of the presidium of the public council at the Russian ministry of defense.
and South Ossetia. GeorgiaTimes correspondent discusses prospects of such deployment with Igor Korotchenko, a member of the presidium of the public council at the Russian ministry of defense.
The crucial agreements for Abkhazia and South Ossetia were ratified at the end of last week. Russian parliamentarians approved the documents stipulating deployment of united bases in the territory of the Transcaucasian republics. Thus, Russian soldiers and officers shall ensure peace and security of both republics for 49 years.
This is what deputy defense minister Nikolay Pankov said at the end of discussion: the fact that the ratified documents are focused on security provision in Abkhazia and South Ossetia jointly with armed forces of these states is highly important. Anatoly Starodubets, a member of the State Duma committee for international affairs, added that the Russian military presence will foster security throughout the region.
As expected, Tbilisi completely disagrees with these logical theses. Georgia, as usual, accuses Russia of "unprecedented concentration of military force, arms and military equipment in the occupied territories of Georgia" without Georgia's consent. "These extremely dangerous acts on the part of Russia in violation of commonly recognized norms and principles of international law as well as Russia's international commitments create a serious threat to peace and stability not only in Caucasian, Black Sea and Caspian regions. This is a threat to the whole of Europe", - the Georgian ministry of foreign affairs remarks asking the global community for help (as always).
Georgian mass media are enraged too, as well as local experts. The press writes that at first Russia "blocked up" activities of international monitoring missions in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and presently Russia is reinforcing its military positions. Paata Zakareishvili, a politologist, stated in an interview that the goal of Russian troops in Abkhazia is to boost Russia's geostrategic interests. Unlike Americans governed by geopolitical issues and "defending democratic values of Sakartvelo offering full support".
The arguments don't sound convincing, to put it mildly. Firstly, it was Sukhum's and Tskhinval's initiative to ask Russia for help. So any occupation is out of question. Secondly, Moscow cooperates with Abkhazia and South Ossetia at an inter-state level. Recognizing the republics and signing treaties on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance, the Russian side de-jure formalized relations. And lastly: presence of Russian military bases is the restraining factor for the inadequate ruler of Georgia. As we saw in 2008, OSCE monitors did not intervene in the conflict. As for "good" Americans concerned over democracy in Sakartvelo, let's not forget: Caucasus has always been part of Washington's geopolitical interests. And any support for democracy is a secondary issue - however you slice it. On the contrary, Moscow keeps helping Abkhazia and South Ossetia to recover from Saakashvili's attacks on a non-repayable basis.
The Russian ministry of foreign affairs does not react to Tbilisi's angry shots. There is nothing to explain here at all. Moscow only warns Mishiko that if he keeps building military potential, he will have an adequate response. Igor Korotchenko, a member of the presidium of the public council at the Russian ministry of defense stated: the Russian side can deploy Iskander-M short-range missile complexes as well As Mi-28N. According to him, Molnia motor boats can be used for provision of security on sea borders of the republics and neutralization of hostile acts on the part of Georgia's marine forces. Korotchenko also explained that it is particularly important to highlight defensive nature of activities of the Russian military bases. "Presence of these bases is not a threat to third countries", - he summed up.
In an interview with GeorgiaTimes Igor Korotchenko emphasized that prospects of Iskander deployment will depend on Georgia's militarization ambitions. "If the republic keeps building its military potential as a priority, it is not impossible that Georgia's growing readiness to a new war and its active war preparations will be duly retaliated", - our interlocutor said. - Still, if Tbilisi preserves a temperate manner abandoning the idea of fast weaponization, there will be no need to act so. Tochka-U short-range missiles deployed in South Ossetia are quite enough for now".