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Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia


Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia regarding the unscheduled large-scale military drills by the Russian Armed Forces in the Black Sea region


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia expresses its grave concern over the decision of the President of the Russian Federation to order large-scale, unscheduled military exercises of the armed forces of the Russian Federation in the Black Sea region. Official Russian sources indicate that up to 7,000 troops, including marines, aviation and more than 30 vessels take part in the exercises. They are held in the close proximity to the land and maritime borders of Georgia. Russian officials did not disclose the duration, exact area and locations of force deployment.

The current drills are unscheduled, unusual and go beyond the usual location of the armed forces in the spirit of the 2011 Vienna Document on Confidence and Security-Building Measures. Neither have they represented a proportional response to an imminent threat.

Russia's action runs contrary to the interests of stability and predictability in the European neighborhood. Georgia is alarmed by the unexpected, provocative activity of the Russian troops, as well as by the potential use of the facilities, weaponry and/or personnel of the occupation forces of the Russian Federation within Georgia's internationally recognized borders in Abkhazia, Georgia and the Tskhinvali region, Georgia.

Unilateral military actions cause Georgia's special concern in the context of Russia's continued refusal to reciprocate the unilateral, legally binding non-use of force pledge made by the President of Georgia in 2010, which was re-affirmed by the Georgian Parliament in its unanimous declaration on 7 March 2013.

Georgia calls on the international community to redouble efforts to ensure Russia's fulfillment of the 12 August 2008 ceasefire agreement and make tangible steps towards the establishment of a credible regime of non-use of force between Georgia and Russia, underpinned by international security arrangements.

Tbilisi, 29 March 2013



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