Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs claims the joint military exercises conducted by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and Georgia create a "serious threat” to regional stability and peace.
In an official statement released today, Russia’s Foreign Ministry criticised the ongoing NATO-Georgia military trainings held at the Krtsanisi National Training Centre near capital Tbilisi, involving more than 250 soldiers from 13 countries.
This year it’s the third multinational exercise of this kind on the territory of Georgia after the Noble Partner in May and the Agile Spirit in September,” said Russia’s Foreign Ministry.
There is a systematic build-up of scale and intensity of the operational training of the armed forces of Georgia to meet NATO standards, with the active involvement of the command and staff structures of the alliance,” said Russia.
The Russian Foreign Ministry's statement stressed Russia "saw the activity as a serious threat to stability and peace in the region”.
The Ministry also said "Georgia’s neighbours” were concerned by such exercises, referring to Georgia's two occupied regions Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia), which were recognised as independent republics by Russia after the Russia-Georgia war in August 2008.
The Russian side then went on to say: "We all remember how promises on NATO membership made at the alliance’s Bucharest Summit pushed Tbilisi to criminal attacks on Russian peacekeepers and civilians of Tskhinvali in August 2008."
The Russian Foreign Ministry said NATO did not hide the fact the current military partnership with Georgia was considered as part of its policy of "containment" of Russia.
"The role Georgia plays in this context complicates the positive process of improvement of Russian-Georgian relations,” the Ministry claimed.