26 Oct 2017 12:37

NATO's support for Georgia endangers regional stability - Tskhinval

TSKHINVAL. Oct 26 (Interfax) - NATO is demonstrating its lack of interest in strengthening stability in the Caucasus by encouraging Georgia's military ambitions, the South Ossetian presidential envoy for post-conflict settlement, Murat Jioyev, told reporters on Thursday.

The 11th Georgia Defense and Security Conference (GDSC) held in Batumi was actually another NATO event, Jioyev said.

"Although the conference was held in Georgia and involved practically the entire political and military administration of the country, it was, in fact, another event held by NATO in Georgian territory with the purpose of strengthening the alliance's position in that part of the world, enlarging its presence in Georgia, and declaring its concern for democracy and stability - this is part of NATO's eastern policy," Jioyev said.

The military exercises held by Georgia and NATO at regular intervals, the opening of a joint training center, the deployment of NATO infrastructure in Georgia, political statements by high-ranking NATO officers on the situation in the region, and pledges of support for Tbilisi are bolstering Georgia's military capacities and inciting its revanchist sentiments, he said.

"The refusal of Georgian authorities to acknowledge existent realities and sign a document on the non-use of force against South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the ongoing aggressive rhetoric, and the support given by NATO and Western countries constitute a major threat to the stability and security of all of the region's residents, including the people of Georgia, given that their interests will be the least concern of those playing the military-political games," Jioyev said.

"Just recently, Georgia used military power gained with the assistance of the United States, NATO, and some Western countries, against the peaceful republic of South Ossetia in 2004 and August 2008. There is no doubt that the steps taken by NATO in Georgia do not help negotiations in the Geneva format, where Georgian representatives do not exhibit any readiness to work on bilateral, legally binding documents on the non-use of force against Georgia, on the one side, and South Ossetia and Abkhazia, on the other," he said.