The Russian Foreign Ministry said on March 22, that ongoing joint U.S.-Georgian military exercises outside Tbilisi were a source of its concern.
350 servicemen from the U.S. Marine Corps’ Black Sea Rotational Force and Georgian soldiers from the 23rd battalion of the second brigade are participating in the Agile Spirit-2013 drills at the Vaziani training area, according to the Georgian Ministry of Defense. Agile Spirit exercises has become an annual military drill supplementing other trainings such as preparing Georgian soldiers by the U.S. Marine Corps for deployment in Afghanistan. First such drills were held in 2011 and then in 2012.
“These annual event, which our American partners explain as ‘preparation for the Afghan operations’, causes our concern. As it is known, in 2008 Georgia launched military conflict in the Caucasus and it is now strongly refusing to come to terms with new political realities,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in comments posted on the ministry’s website on Friday.
“We think that any foreign military assistance to Tbilisi, no matter what the motives are, complicates prospects for strengthening peace and stability in the region,” Lukashevich said.