Georgia’s armed forces are “the most authoritative” institution in Georgia, President Saakashvili said on July 1, adding: “There is nothing more authoritative in Georgia than the Georgian army.”
He was speaking while addressing graduates of Cadets Military Lyceum in Kutaisi.
“It means that people appreciate sacrifice of our officers and soldiers,” Saakashvili continued. “They have sacrificed their lives to save Georgia’s independence… and anytime when there is a need for replenishment we recruit new solider without any problem, despite the fact that this is the army which is in combat, because we are in Afghanistan.”
He added that the Georgian army needed to be vigilant and mobilized also because “the one who wants to invade entire Georgia is not sleeping.”
Saakashvili said “much has changed for better in the defense sphere in recent two-three years”, adding that people might not even know about it “because we have not been showing it off on TV.”
“I have noticed that something that is being shown off on TV appears to be less effective than something done quietly, but professionally and with dedication,” he said.
He said that Georgia had built “very good” defensive fortifications in recent years. “We are not showing it off on TV either and we are not boasting with it,” he added.
“We have managed to create – especially after Bacho [Akhalaia] was appointed as the Defense Minister, new defense academy… which has become one of the best military institutions at least in this part of Europe… and we are proud of that,” Saakashvili said.
“Under Bacho’s leadership – and with my personal involvement as well – we have created Georgia’s new military industry,” Saakashvili said. “How many countries of our size have their own military industry? Probably Sweden, Singapore, Israel, Georgia and I can’t recall any other country, which has managed to develop its own [military industry] from scratches.”
“We will never have a huge army, but at the same time we will have up to 100,000 reserve troops, which will be ready to defend their villages, streets and neighborhood if we need it,” he said.
In his speech Saakashvili also touched upon planned relocation of Parliament from capital Tbilisi to Kutaisi and said: “Our invader and those undignified Georgians, who are underneath its [invader’s] feet, are very much irritated by the idea that Kutaisi can turn into not only a parliamentary capital, but an important political center of Georgia.”
“Georgia needs to have several centers and Georgia itself has to be the center of the entire region… Nothing can stop relocation of Parliament to Kutaisi and I am sure after [the October] parliamentary elections this idea will be cemented once and for all… This is a very popular idea,” he said.