TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s foreign minister Grigol Vashadze says he too is concerned about a major military exercise Russia is planning to hold right before Georgia’s parliamentary election in October.
Russia’s exercise “Kavkaz 2012” will for the first time take place inside Georgia’s breakaway regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as well as at a military base in Armenia.
The exercise will not coincide with the parliamentary election, Vashadze pointed out, appearing beside his Finnish counterpart Erkki Tuomioja, who had come to discuss, among other things, how a U.S. strike on Iran will affect the region.
Vashadze responded to comments by the Secretary of Georgia’s National Security Council, Giga Bokeria, who told “Ekho Moskvy” that he did not rule out renewed Russian aggression.
The Foreign Minister said that this exercise is much more extensive compared to the exercise in the summer of 2008, which immediately preceded the war, which he termed Russian military aggression.
“We have appealed to Moscow to state, first, is it as they say only a staff and command exercise, and secondly, what is the purpose of such a large-scale exercise. So far, no response has been received from Moscow, and this is concerning not only for Georgia, but also for the international community,” Vashadze said, according to Interpressnews.