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Georgia hails ’successful’ NATO war games
From the defencetalk.com article:
Controversial NATO military exercises in ex-Soviet republic Georgia ended Monday with Tbilisi hailing the drills as a success despite internal unrest and fury on the part of Russia.
“Despite the tense internal political situation, Georgia has managed to very successfully fulfil its obligations within the framework of partnership with NATO,” Deputy Prime Minister Giorgi Baramidze said in televised remarks.
The exercises were held amid political uncertainty in Georgia as opposition supporters have protested for weeks to demand President Mikheil Saakashvili’s resignation.
They had also prompted a furious reaction from neighbouring Russia, which last year fought a brief war with Georgia over the rebel South Ossetia region and vehemently opposes Georgia’s ambitions to join NATO.
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From the defencetalk.com article:

Controversial NATO military exercises in ex-Soviet republic Georgia ended Monday with Tbilisi hailing the drills as a success despite internal unrest and fury on the part of Russia.

“Despite the tense internal political situation, Georgia has managed to very successfully fulfil its obligations within the framework of partnership with NATO,” Deputy Prime Minister Giorgi Baramidze said in televised remarks.

The exercises were held amid political uncertainty in Georgia as opposition supporters have protested for weeks to demand President Mikheil Saakashvili’s resignation.

They had also prompted a furious reaction from neighbouring Russia, which last year fought a brief war with Georgia over the rebel South Ossetia region and vehemently opposes Georgia’s ambitions to join NATO.

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From the timesonline.co.uk
Russia flexed its muscles in America’s backyard yesterday as it sent one of its largest warships to join military exercises in the Caribbean. The nuclear-powered flagship Peter the Great set off for Venezuela with the submarine destroyer Admiral Chabanenko and two support vessels in the first Russian naval mission in Latin America since the end of the Cold War.

The voyage to join the Venezuelan Navy for manoeuvres came only days after Russian strategic nuclear bombers made their first visit to the country. Hugo Chávez, the President, said then that the arrival of the strike force was a warning to the US. The vehemently antiAmerican Venezuelan leader is due to visit Dmitri Medvedev, the Russian President, in Moscow this week as part of a tour that includes visits to Cuba and China.

Pavel Felgengauer, a leading Russian defence expert, told The Times: “It’s to show the flag and the finger to the United States.

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From the reuters.com article:
Russia said on Monday it would send a heavily-armed nuclear-powered cruiser to the Caribbean for a joint naval exercise with Venezuela, its first major maneuvers on the United States’ doorstep since the Cold War.

Russian officials denied the mission was linked to a naval standoff with U.S warships in the Black Sea, but it will take place at a time of high tension between Washington and Moscow over the conflict in Georgia.

Washington has played down the significance of the exercise.

Russia has criticized the United States for sending a command ship and two other naval vessels to Georgia, on its southern border, to deliver aid and show support for President Mikheil Saakashvili after Moscow sent troops into Georgia.

Kremlin leader Dmitry Medvedev asked on Saturday how Washington would feel “if we now dispatched humanitarian assistance to the Caribbean … using our navy”.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said on Monday that the naval mission to Venezuela would include the nuclear-powered battle cruiser “Peter the Great”, one of the world’s largest combat warships.

Moscow’s most modern destroyer, the “Admiral Chabanenko”, will also steam to the Caribbean, along with other ships, including a fuel tanker, he added.

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Ship specifics here.

From the itar-tass.com article:

Russia is not interested in bad relations with the United States, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an exclusive CNN interview on Friday.

Russia would be ready to work with any U.S. administration on strategic issues like non-proliferation, counter-terrorism, and peaceful uses of nuclear energy, he said.

“We are not interested in bad relations with the United States,” Lavrov said. “It wouldn’t be our choice, but if the United States does not want to cooperate with us on one or another issue, we cannot impose.”

“We acted [in the Caucasus] because we had no other choice,” Lavrov said. “We had no other choice [than] to ensure not just the security of Abkhazians and South Ossetians, but their very survival. Georgia, too, many times in its history, including very recent history, tried to basically eliminate these people.”

He also rejected claims of certain politicals about the alleged Russian plans to encroach on territorial integrity of Ukraine or the Baltic republics. “We do not intend to raise the question of territorial integrity of either nation,” he said.

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From the timesonline.co.uk article:
A US navy flagship has steamed into a Georgian port where Russian troops are still stationed, stoking tensions once again in the tinderbox Caucasus region.

A previous trip by American warships was cancelled at the last minute a week ago amid fears that an armed stand off could erupt in the Black Sea port of Poti.

The arrival of the USS Mount Whitney came as Moscow accused Dick Cheney, the hawkish US vice-president, of stoking tensions during a visit to Tbilisi yesterday, in which he vowed to bring Georgia into the Nato alliance. Russia sees any such move as a blatant Western encroachment on its traditional sphere of influence.

Russia’s leadership has already questioned whether previous US warships that docked at the port of Batumi, to the south, were delivering weapons to rearm the smashed Georgian military, something Washington has denied.

Militarily, the small Russian garrison in Poti would pose almost no threat to a vessel like the Mount Whitney, but the proximity of two hostile forces in such a fraught setting set the political temperature rising again in the Caucasus, a month after Russia’s five day war with Georgia.

The American warship is too large to actually enter the port, where Russia sunk several Georgian navy vessels in its offensive last month. Instead, it is expected anchor offshore and unload its cargo of blankets, hygiene kits, baby food and infant care supplies on to smaller boats.

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From the breitbart.com article:
The United States on Thursday welcomed China’s apparent reluctance to support Russia’s action recognizing the independence of two Georgian secessionist regions.

“It was not what I would call an endorsement of Russia’s recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia,” State Department spokesman Robert Wood said, referring to a joint statement by China and other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) regional summit in the Tajik capital Dushanbe.

China and four Central Asian nations voiced support Thursday for Russia’s “active role” in resolving the conflict in Georgia.

In the joint declaration, the six countries called for respect for the concept of “territorial integrity” — although they did not specifically refer to Georgia.

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From the bloomberg.com article:

When British General Sir Michael Rose commanded United Nations forces protecting Bosnia in the mid-1990s, he gained first-hand knowledge of Russia’s army, which participated in the mission.

“They were worse than useless,” the 68-year-old retired officer said in an interview.

Not any more.

Russia’s five-day drubbing of the U.S-trained and equipped Georgian military this month followed a 5-trillion ruble ($200 billion) buildup undertaken in 2006 and lessons learned from misadventures in Afghanistan and Chechnya.

“Today they’re a reinvented institution and a military force to be reckoned with” after “10 years of humiliation and pressure from NATO,” Rose said.

The resurgent military deployed in Georgia gives Russia a credible threat of force as it seeks to check the pro-Western aspirations of its neighbors. Backed by the U.S., the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in April promised Georgia and Ukraine, both former Soviet republics, eventual membership in the military alliance.

“The Russians regard the Georgian episode as merely the start of a sustained campaign to restore their country’s sphere of influence,” wrote Jonathan Eyal, director of International Security Studies at London’s Royal United Services Institute, on its Web site. “It is now impossible to persuade the East Europeans that a Russian threat is remote.”

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From the timesonline.co.uk article:

August 7 Georgia sends troops into breakaway region of South Ossetia

August 8 President Saakashvili of Georgia says that most of South Ossetia has been “liberated”. Russia sends in troops and promises to defend residents with Russian passports

August 12 President Medvedev of Russia says that he has decided to stop military action against Georgia. President Sarkozy of France begins negotiations on a peace agreement

August 15 Georgia signs French-brokered agreement

August 16 Mr Medvedev signs peace agreement, but Russian troops advance through Georgia to the capital Tbilisi

August 18 Russia announces withdrawal from Georgia but Tbilisi accuses Moscow of stalling and not observing ceasefire

August 20 Abkhazia, another breakaway region, votes to ask Russia to recognise its independence. Russia freezes relations with Nato

August 26 Russia formally recognises South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states. Mr Medvedev says: “We are not afraid of . . . a Cold War”

August 27 David Miliband, right, and Mr Sarkozy call on Russia to avoid a new Cold War

From ft.com
Russia 08/27/08

From the ft.com article:
Britain led a chorus of support for Ukraine on Wednesday as western fears rose of possible Russian attempts to build on its victory in Georgia by threatening neighbouring states.

Speaking during a visit to Kiev, foreign secretary David Miliband called on the European Union and Nato to prepare for “hard-headed engagement” with Moscow following its military action in Georgia.

“Russia must not learn the wrong lessons from the Georgia crisis. There can be no going back on fundamental principles of territorial integrity, democratic governance and international law,” he said.

Meanwhile, the US avoided a potential clash with Russia by diverting two aid-carrying warships to the Georgian-controlled Batumi instead of the Moscow-controlled Georgian port of Poti.

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Diplomacide Mothballed

Diplomacide has been mothballed.
June 2017
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