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Lavrov: Moscow concerned over Georgian militarization, its future admission to NATO

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April 19, 2012, 2:33 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Interfax-Ukraine

Sergei Lavrov
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BRUSSELS - Russia is concerned over the rapid militarization of Georgia, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after the Brussels meeting of the Russia-NATO Council on Thursday. "We are surprised with the listing of Georgia amongst aspirants for NATO membership; Georgian militarization is swift. Saakashvili said he had agreed to the full restoration of military supplies and was promised Georgia's admission to NATO. That is a source of our concern: we do not want a new outbreak of destabilization in the South Caucasus," Lavrov said.

Russia has been trying to prevent a military solution of Georgian territorial problems since the beginning of 2008, he said.

"Being a member of the Friends of Georgia Group since early 2008, we have been trying to draft a non-aggression pact, which would be signed by all the parties to the conflict. Yet Georgia bluntly refused to sign that document. The decision that Georgia will be admitted to NATO made at the NATO Bucharest summit might have had a serious effect on the mental condition of President Saakashvili. What he did in August 2008 was an attack on Russia because an attack on citizens, especially peacekeepers and servicemen, means an attack on the country," Lavrov said.

He called sacrilegious the discussion of NATO membership prospects with the man who ordered the killings.

"They killed on behalf and by order of the person who was promised admission to NATO at the Bucharest summit. They killed with the weapons supplied to Georgia from many NATO member states. The killings were done by servicemen trained by instructors from NATO countries. So I would call it blasphemous to mull over the subject in that format," he said.

As for Abkhazia and South Ossetia whose independence Russia had recognized, Lavrov said, "We have two new independent allies and our relations are developing and strengthening."

"We wish all countries in the South Caucasus to establish constructive contacts without any revanchist plots or attempts to begin new adventures," Lavrov concluded.
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