The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that it sees serious danger in the joint military trainings of NATO - Georgia.
“We will pay attention to the next military trainings of NATO and Georgia, in which more than 250 military units will take part from 13 different countries. This is already the third training of its kind, in which Georgian intensive-operative forces will be trained to NATO standards with active involvement of NATO’s leading structures. Russia sees serious danger in terms of the stability and peace in the region. Alarmed by such actions, the neighbouring countries of Georgia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, have made statements to this effect several times”, says the Russian MFA.
The statement also touched upon the 2008 August War, in which Georgia is blamed for an “attack on peaceful civilians.”
The “NATO-Georgia Exercise 2016” officially began on November 10. According to the MInistry of Defence, “NATO-Georgia Exercise 2016” is conducted in the framework of Substantial NATO-Georgia Package, endorsed in 2014 during the Wales Summit. The exercise will be a multinational brigade level and will be conducted on the JTEC area during November 10-20. During the exercise, the participating officers will hone the necessary skills for planning and executing a NATO operation using sophisticated computer simulations. “NATO-Georgia Exercise 2016” will support Georgia’s interoperability with NATO and will serve as an example of close partnership between NATO and Georgia.”
In addition, NATO is to increase its military presence in the Black Sea region, with six member states including the USA, Germany and Turkey set to dispatch additional air, land and naval forces to the region. The announcement was made by the NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, at a joint summit of NATO defence ministers held in Brussels on October 26 - 27.
Georgia is often described as being NATO’s star student. At the 2008 Bucharest Summit, Georgia was promised NATO membership. Georgia has participated in a number of NATO’s international missions and is one of the largest non-member contributors the Organisation’s International Security Assistance Force. After the 2014 Wales Summit, Georgia received a substantial package for a training center in order to prepare for membership.
The Warsaw Summit declaration of July 2016 spoke about Georgia extensively and pointed out the importance of the 2016 parliamentary elections. It reiterated the fact that Georgia has the potential to be a member of NATO and that the Membership Action Plan continues to be an integral part of the process. NATO recognizes the progress Georgia has achieved on its path to integration and has promised continued support to Georgia’s defense capabilities.