The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned Georgian Ambassador Irakli Chubinishvili to protest against Georgia’s attempts to “sabotage” an agreement on the transit of Russia’s military personnel and cargo to Armenia via Georgia.
“Tbilisi has ignored and not responded to a request by the Russian side to authorize flights of the Russian Air Forces in the direction of Russia’s 102nd military base in Gyumri (Armenia) in a period between December 8 and December 22,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in an information note.
Moscow said that the Georgia’s move is a “deliberate attempt” to hinder the “normal operation” of the Russian military base in Gyumri and also to create obstacles to the process of withdrawal of Russian military bases from Georgia.
“The demonstrative nature of these moves indicates the deliberate attempts of the Georgian side to further escalate tensions in the bilateral relations,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
Georgia and Russia signed an agreement on the transit of Russia’s military personnel and cargo via Georgia on March 31, 2006.
The five–year agreement prohibits Russia from handing over any armament transited through Georgian territory to a third country. It also stipulates that the amount of military cargo to be transited via Georgia should be agreed between Russia and Georgia one year in advance.
Russia also undertook a commitment not to transit biological, nuclear or chemical substances, as well as weapon of mass destruction or their components.
According to the agreement, Georgia can refuse the transit of items if the movement of the military cargo poses a threat to its national security or if the final destination of the transited military cargo is a location within a conflict zone or a warring state.