10 Aug 2018 19:45

Tskhinval sees NATO exercise held in Georgia as Tbilisi's desire to undermine situation

TSKHINVAL. Aug 10 (Interfax) - The multinational military exercise Noble Partner 2018 being held in Georgia and involving 13 NATO member states displays Tbilisi's desire to undermine the situation in the region and achieve a military solution to the conflict, the South Ossetian Foreign Ministry said in a statement shared with Interfax on Friday.

"The large-scale military exercise Noble Partner 2018 started in Georgia for the fourth year in a row on August 1, with over 3,000 troops from 13 NATO member states taking part. In addition, U.S. aircraft and German armored vehicles have been engaged," the statement says.

The multinational NATO exercise marked with a significant increase in deliveries of weapons and the number of troops causes serious concerns in South Ossetia and serves as "a vivid demonstration of the North Atlantic alliance's provocative course toward unconditional support for Georgia's revanchist policy and the desire to legitimize military preparations near South Ossetia's borders and deliberately undermine the situation in the region," it said.

These maneuvers coincide with the 10th anniversary of the start of Georgia's aggression against South Ossetia in 2008, it said.

"NATO military instructors who trained and armed the Georgian army are equally responsible for the tragic consequences of the August 2008 events. Just a month before attacking South Ossetia, the Georgian and U.S. armed forces conducted the joint exercise Immediate Response, which inspired the Georgian leadership to accomplish 'feats of arms'," it said.

Tskhinval sees Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili's statement at the opening of the exercise that the Georgian soldiers trained by Western instructors will peacefully restore Georgia's territorial integrity as yet further confirmation of the Georgian leadership's stubborn desire to accomplish a military solution to the conflict instead of efforts to establish peace, the Foreign Ministry said.

South Ossetia urged Georgia's Western partners to make conclusions and weigh all implications of the August 2008 events and also "take into consideration all possible negative effects that blind support rendered to Georgia and its revanchist aspirations may have for peace and stability in the region."

The South Ossetian parliament also said in a statement concerning the exercise that it causes serious concerns in the South Ossetian community.