Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister, Anatoly Antonov, told journalists on February 2, that the U.S. arms supply to Georgia, if such decision had really been taken, would destabilize the Caucasus region.
“We are strongly against of any kind of arms supply to the Saakashvili’s regime. If such a decision was taken, it will destabilize situation in the Caucasus,” RIA Novosti news agency reported quoting Antonov on February 2.
Since the meeting between the Georgian and U.S. presidents in the White House on January 30, the Georgian senior officials, including President Saakashvili stressed for number of times that the agreement had been reached to deepen defense cooperation.
While the Georgian officials stop short of mentioning “arms sale” or “supply of arms”, they are speaking of “new level” of defense cooperation, “elevating defense cooperation to a new stage” and deepening defense cooperation to go beyond training of Georgian troops for Afghan deployment by “focusing on enhancing and improving Georgia’s self-defense capabilities.”
After meeting with Georgian counterpart, President Obama said on January 30: “We have talked about how we will continue to strengthen our defense cooperation, and there are a wide range of areas where we are working together.”
After that meeting, President Saakashvili thanked the U.S. President for, as he put it, “talking about Georgia’s self-defense capabilities and developing it.”