The U.S. defense authorization bill, which contains a section on Georgia calling for “normalization” of military cooperation with Tbilisi, including the sale of defensive arms, amounts to encouraging Georgia to take “aggressive” actions, the foreign ministries of breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia said in separate statements.
“Taking into account events of 2008, as well as continued provocations on the part of Georgia, the Abkhaz Foreign Ministry deems this bill continuation policy of destabilization in the region,” the breakaway region’s foreign ministry said on December 23, according to the Abkhaz news agency Apsnipress.
It called on the U.S. “to clearly realize consequences of further military equipment and modernization of the Georgian army from the point of view of peace and stability in the region.”
Tskhinvali has “called on the international community for multiple times not to provoke President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili on new ‘heroic’ actions. Imposing broad international embargo on supply of first and foremost offensive weaponry and military hardware to Georgia would have significantly reduced threat of recurrence of the Georgian aggression,” the breakaway South Ossetia’s foreign ministry said on December 21.
Moscow has not publicly reacted on the bill, which also calls on the U.S. administration to encourage “NATO member and candidate countries to restore and enhance their sales of defensive articles and services to the Republic of Georgia as part of a broader NATO effort to deepen its defense relationship and cooperation.”