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NATO: observers from the Russian side will be able to be present at maneuvers in Georgia2009-04-23 10:29
NATO allows the presence of Russian observers at the maneuvers in Georgia in the framework of Partnership for Peace program, James Appathurai, the Alliance spokesman, said - ITAR TASS.gt-en-newsitem-inside
He also mentioned that Russia, as well as other NATO partner countries, was invited to participate in the coming exercise.
He underlined that the maneuvers in Georgia had been planning since 2008, and the Russian side was aware of it.
At the same time, Appathurai noted that Russia hadn't participated in the conference for preparation of the exercise, essential for participation in them.
Appathurai confirmed that Jaap de Hoop Scheffer received the letter from Dmitri Rogozin, the Permanent Representative of Russia to NATO, with the demand to cancel the exercise. "The Secretary General has taken good note of the letter. The bottom line is that the exercise will go forward," Appathurai said.
He noted that the letter didn't change the Alliance intentions. "It is a long-planned exercise, it is perfectly legitimate and it serves a valid purpose," he said.