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Georgia FM Downplays Russia’s Reaction on NATO Drills
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 21 Apr.'09 / 02:00

Georgian Foreign Minister, Grigol Vashadze, said Russian ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin’s remarks on planned NATO exercises were not worth commenting on.

“Rogozin is not a person with such an intellectual level that would be worth of being commented by Georgian officials,” he told the Georgian public TV in Stockholm, where he met with his Swedish counterpart, Carl Bildt, on April 20.

“As far as Russia’s position on planned NATO exercises is concerned, Georgia has constitutional right to hold whatever exercises we want on our sovereign territory and Russia has no right to have an opinion about it,” he added. “Instead of making comments on NATO exercises in Georgia, Russia would be better if it starts de-occupation of the Georgian territories.”

Russia’s ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, told Russian news channel, Vesti, on April 20 that he had sent a letter to NATO Secretary General explaining Moscow’s position why it should refrain from exercises in Georgia. He said that with NATO-Russian contacts not fully restored yet, the alliance’s exercises in Georgia would trigger Russia’s negative reaction; he also said that NATO’s war games would be perceived as a provocative step in the light of the last August’s war; Rogozin also said that the timing of NATO exercises was also inappropriate aimd ongoing political standoff in Georgia between the authorities and opposition.

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