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Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia


Statement of the Georgian Foreign Ministry in reaction to the deployment of a Russian regiment of transport helicopters in Novorossiysk

On 1 March 2012, media sources reported a statement made by Lieutenant-General Vladimir Shamanov, commander of Russian airborne troops, regarding the creation of a helicopter regiment and its deployment in Novorossisk.

While explaining the reasons for which the regiment was set up and deployed to Novorossisk, Lieutenant-General Shamanov said 'we take into consideration that the situation frequently changes in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Tension with Georgia increases. There are problems in the Northern Caucasus too. It is there that we will begin to use our helicopters during military operations'.

One should not forget that in 2011 Russian military forces deployed "Tochka-U" (SS-21 Scarab-B) surface-to-surface missile systems and BM-30 "Smerch" multiple-launch rocket systems on Georgian territory.

This further step by Russia is an open and undisguised threat against Georgian sovereignty and leaves no doubt as to the target of this aggressive move by the Russian Federation. It is obvious that Russia is continuing to pursue a policy of aggression aimed at the destruction of Georgian statehood and at the elimination of Georgia's peaceful population.

The intense military build-up in Georgia's occupied regions and recent developments in the occupied Tskhinvali region make it absolutely clear whose actions are destabilizing the Caucasus region as a whole.

The Georgian government has on more than one occasion made declarations to the international community to the effect that conflicts can only be resolved by peaceful means. With this goal in mind, the Georgian government is co-operating in a close and transparent manner with the very same EU observer mission whom the Russian Federation has denied access to Georgia's occupied territories for monitoring purposes (as indeed it has to every other observer mission). This is further proof of the identity of those who are nurturing hidden or blatantly aggressive designs and are the cause of escalation in every case.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry strongly urges the international community, international organizations and partner countries to adopt active measures to make the Russian Federation desist from acting in an aggressive manner towards Georgia, fulfill its international commitments (notably the 12 August 2008 ceasefire agreement), commit to the non-use of force, and fully and immediately withdraw from Georgian territory.


Tbilisi, 2 March 2012


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