Russia represents “source of destabilization” and “negative developments,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry said while condemning in a statement on January 16 reported plans by Russia to invite for participation in its annual military drills in North Caucasus units from breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Russia’s armed forces' chief of general staff, Nikolai Makarov, said in December, that “no great amount of troops” would be involved in the Kavkaz-2012 drills and the focus would be made on “tactical level units”.
Itar-Tass news agency reported on January 10 quoting a source from Russia’s general staff of army, that officers and small army units from Abkhazia and South Ossetia would also be invited to take part in the Kavkaz-2012 drills in the second half of September. According to the report officers would take part in simulation-based command and control trainings. “There won’t be large scale maneuvers… Small military contingents of the three states will be involved,” the Russian army source was quoted.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry said in the statement on January 16, that Russia’s planned drills, also involving troops from the breakaway regions was part of Moscow’s policy of militarizing occupied territories and provoking permanent tensions in Georgia and in the entire Black Sea region.
“Russia continues its aggressive actions, including demonstration of military force and provocations,” the Georgian Foreign Ministry said.