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Tbilisi Says Russian Drills ‘Dangerous Provocation’
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 29 Jun.'09 / 15:57

Georgia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Alexander Nalbandov, said on June 29 that Russia’s large-scale military exercises Kavkaz-2009 is “a very dangrenous provocation.”

Russia launched military exercises in North Caucasus – Kavkaz-2009 on June 29, which will last till July 6. The Russian Defense Ministry said that maneuvers would involve about 8,500 personnel, up to 200 battle tanks, 450 armored vehicles and various types of about 250 artillery systems.

The Russian troops deployed in breakaway South Ossetia and Abkhazia will also take part in the exercises, according to commander of Russian land forces Gen. Vladimir Boldirev.

“Holding of such maneuvers against the background of explosive situation will only contribute to further tensions,” the Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister told journalists.

Interfax news agency reported on June 29 quoting unnamed “senior official” from the Russian general staff of the armed forces that the large-scale military exercises at the Georgian border would “cool fantasies of some hawks” in Tbilisi.

“The present Georgian authorities have not rejected new military adventures in respect of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and do not give up attempts to settle the territorial issues by forceful methods,” the Russian military official was quoted.

“Today the Georgian army is equipped with military hardware and armament of not less quality than it was last August, when President Saakashvili decided to carry out aggression against South Ossetia. In this situation holding of military exercises Kavkaz–2009 will definitely help to promote stability both in the southern part of Russia and generally, in the Caucasus region, and to cool fantasies of some hawks.”

According to the scenario of the drills, the Russian troops will have to confront international terrorist groups trying to create a number of bases and camps in mountainous regions of the North Caucasus with a purpose to destabilize southern part of Russia.

“The goal of extremists,” according to the scenario, the Russian Defense Ministry said, “is to carry out terrorist acts on important transportation and energy routes, strategic facilities and consequently, to capture several regions of North Caucasus.”

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