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Moscow Says Deployed S-300 in Abkhazia in 2008
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 15 Aug.'10 / 00:01

Russia deployed S-300 air-defense system in Abkhazia in autumn 2008 as a part of Russian military base in the region for "purely defensive" purposes, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on August 13. 

Andrey Nesterenko, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, said that in response to questions, triggered among media outlets and in "some capitals", Moscow "deems it necessary to explain" that S-300 could not serve as destabilizing factor in the region and its deployment did not breach any international commitment undertaken by Russia.
 
EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said on August 13 she was "concerned" about Russia's announcement that it had deployed S-300 air-defense system in Abkhazia and that the move “would be in contradiction with the six-point ceasefire agreement... and would risk further increasing tensions in the region."

The French Foreign Ministry said on August 12, that S-300 deployment would "unlikely contribute to the stabilization of the region,"

Commander of Russian Air Forces announced about deployment of S-300 in Abkhazia on August 11 without specifying the date of deployment.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry responded by condemning the move, describing it as “an extremely dangerous and provocative... which poses threat to the security of not only the Black Sea region, but of entire Europe.”

Also on August 11, the U.S. Department of State said, that the Russian military commander's announcement was not necessarily a news, as Moscow had had S-300 in Abkhazia for past two years.

Georgian Parliamentary Chairman, Davit Bakradze said on August 12, that he had no exact information whether S-300 air-defense system had been deployed in Abkhazia before Russia publicly announced about this move on August 11.
 
“It seems that Americans have more information owing to their technical capabilities. I cannot confirm whether this system has been deployed in Abkhazia until now or not, because the Georgian side has no exact information in this regard, at least, at my level,” Bakradze told Civil.ge.

“Our military cooperation with Abkhazia and South Ossetia is not a news or secret," the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said. "It is carried out on the basis of relevant interstate bilateral agreements with the single goal – to provide the security of young Trans-Caucasian republics and stability in the region, as a whole."

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