President Saakashvili said that the Mukhrovani incident has caused “damage to Georgia’s reputation,” but the Georgian state had proven that it was “effective” and would “eradicate” any attempts of destabilization.
“It is bad when such things occur, but there are very few countries, who can overcome situation of this kind so quickly,” he said at a televised meeting with military top brass on May 6.
“We have also demonstrated that the armed forces are united; they [referring to alleged mutineers] failed to find even one supporter in any other [military] units,” Saakashvili said.
He also said at a meeting in the Defense Ministry that “the entire state machinery of Georgia, including the armed forces, continues working in a usual manner.”
Devi Chankotadze, chief of staff of the Georgian armed forces, told Saakashvili that the situation was now “stable” in all the military units and the NATO exercises started at Vaziani military base outside Tbilisi on May 6 as scheduled.
The Georgian authorities have claimed that the Russian-backed mutiny in the military unit at Mukhrovani base aimed “at least” at thwarting the NATO exercises.
The Georgian Defense Ministry said that total of 1,100 servicemen from 16 NATO member and partner countries would participate in the exercises. Cooperative Longbow-2009, which started on May 6, is command post exercise in crisis response operations at the multinational brigade level. A field training exercise, Cooperative Lancer-2009, will then follow to provide basic training on peace support operations at the battalion level, which will last till June 1. Total of twenty countries were initially planning to take part, but Armenia, Moldova, Serbia and Kazakhstan withdrew after Russia protested against the exercises.