Russia’s PM Vladimir Putin said on February 22, that “rearming” Georgia by the United States was “a huge mistake” and Moscow was “constantly raising this issue” with Washington.
At a meeting with the Russian army commanders at a military base in Alabino near Moscow, Putin was asked by a commander of the Russian military base deployed in breakaway South Ossetia about “media reports that an agreement has been reached during the U.S.-Georgia summit in Washington about large-scale supply of arms to Georgia.”
“I was not there sitting under the table and I do not know what they have agreed on,” Putin responded. “Although I hope someone from our guys was there to tell.”
He said that the U.S. started “rearming” Georgia “immediately” after the August 2008 war.
“I think it’s a huge mistake, because the current leadership of Georgia carries out clearly an aggressive policy and supply of arms to the armed forces of a country, which carries out aggressive policy always inevitably encourages it on aggressive actions.”
Putin said that the U.S. arms supply to Georgia “is an open secret”.
“We know that, we see that and we react appropriately, but not publicly, on that,” the Russian Prime Minister said.
“We judge not based on words, but based on concrete actions, which are easily traced not only through foreign intelligence but through GRU [Russia's military intelligence service] too… Movement of vessels, volume of cargo – all these are controlled quite easily with the help of satellite and other means of surveillance – I have been showed some of these [means] here today,” Putin said.
“We are constantly raising the issue with them [the U.S.]. I very much hope, that the Georgian side will have enough common sense and lesson taught for adventurous policy of the Georgian leadership will not be in vain and I hope these weapons will not be used for new aggressive actions,” Putin said.
At the same meeting Putin also said, that Russia was differentiating between “the Georgian leadership and the Georgian people.”
“I very much hope that this genuinely brotherly people for us will ultimately realize, that Russia is not an enemy, but it is a friend and relations will be restored,” Putin said, adding that cutting of ties between the two countries was a result of a policy carried out by the Georgian leadership.