Russian Foreign Ministry warns Georgia

The Russian statement was released even though the Georgian Government strongly denied such an offer., 02 Oct 2014 - 22:10, Tbilisi,Georgia

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has publically stated that if Georgia’s so-called offer to host a training camp for Syrian rebels was established, it "would affect Georgia very negatively”.

The official Russian statement was released even though the Georgian Government and the country’s Prime Minister strongly denied such an offer had been made.

"Tbilisi’s decision, if it would be made, will prejudice the stability and safety of the South Caucasus, near the Russian borders. Negative consequences would be unavoidable for the normalisation of Russian-Georgian relations,” read the Russian Foreign Ministry’s statement released today by the Ministry’s press office.

"We seriously consider all denials, including PM [Irakli] Garibashvili’s statement but we will carefully follow this,” the statement read.

Georgia’s authorities strongly denied the news published by the Foreign Policy magazine few days ago. The country’s Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze said Georgia’s participation in any anti-IS coalition will "only be of humanitarian nature”.

"I categorically rule out any kind of military participation or training base in Georgia. We have not discussed it and our American partners know it,” Panjikidze said on September 24.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s Council for State Security and Crisis Management further confidently denied Georgia had no plans to host a training centre that would cater for foreign Islamic State fighters, including Syrian rebels.

On September 23, Foreign Policy magazine published an article that stated Georgia had offered to host a training facility for Syrian rebels as a part of the US-led war against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.

The article, based on comments by an anonymous American administration official, stated "if accepted, the offer could supplement the White House's existing plan to train 5,000 Syrian rebels in Saudi Arabia in the next year to fight against the extremists now controlling swaths of both Iraq and Syria.”