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PM Comments on Noble Partner Exercises
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 9 May.'16 / 20:50

PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili dismissed Russia’s criticism of Noble Partner military exercises in Georgia, saying that there is “nothing provocative whatsoever” in these drills and added that planned maneuvers “are not directed against anyone.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on May 6 that the joint military exercises outside Tbilisi planned for May 11-26 with the participation of about 1,300 troops from Georgia, U.S. and UK is “a provocative step”, directed against stability in the region.  

“There are much more provocative elements in those agreements, which the Russian Federation signs with Abkhazia and South Ossetia. There is no provocation whatsoever from our side,” Georgia’s PM Kvirikashvili told journalists on May 9.
 
“These military exercises are a very clear example of our partnership with the West; increasing Georgia’s self-defense capabilities is very important. We have passed through a very important stage of defense reforms that have made the Georgian military units maximally interoperable with the NATO standards. Today we have to launch a new stage of strengthening capabilities of the Georgian military units. The upcoming drills are directed precisely towards this [goal]. This is an expression of unwavering will of Georgia and sovereign choice of the Georgian people over foreign policy course,” PM Kvirikashvili said.

500 Georgian, 650 U.S. and 150 UK service members will participate in annual military exercises Noble Partner. The U.S. army’s tank company with M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks was sent from Bulgaria across the Black Sea to Georgia via ferry for the first time for the purpose of the drills.

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